Comprehensive framework with MILF ready by Dec - Leonen

Posted at 11/18/2012 4:08 PM | Updated as of 11/19/2012 8:10 AM

MANILA, Philippines - Chief government peace negotiator Marvic Leonen said the three annexes of the Framework Agreement on the Bangsamoro (FAB) will be ready before the end of the year, as what was promised earlier by President Benigno Aquino III.

In a joint statement at the end of the 33rd round of formal exploratory talks in Malaysia, Leonen and Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) chief negotiator Mohagher Iqbal said the meetings “ended on a positive note.”

Still, "there may seem to be many points that are left to the draft annexes produced by our [technical working groups],” Leonen said in a separate statement. He said, however, that these will be resolved.

During the November 12 to 17 exploratory talks in Kuala Lumpur, the groups were able to progress in connection with the annexes on power-sharing and wealth-sharing. The technical working group on normalization was also convened for the first time.

Leonen said the two parties will again meet in December to finalize the texts for the annexes. "I look forward to our next meeting in December that we would be able to produce annexes on power sharing and wealth sharing and we could cover a substantial part of normalization. I think we will be able to achieve many things on the three issues at hand.”

For his part, Iqbal said in his closing statement: “I know everybody exerted their utmost efforts and have managed to settle many things. But the remaining issues are still so many and very hard but with determination and commitment of both parties, I think we will be able to overcome a lot of issues."

Leonen added: “I know that we will succeed and I know that there will be a consensus on the annexes because I have seen the sincerity of the Republic of the Philippines, the sincerity of this administration. That sincerity is seen in the fact that most of its most important individuals have been sent in these negotiations.”