MILF, civil society hail completion of peace deal

Posted at 01/26/2014 3:32 PM

COTABATO CITY-- The Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) is grateful now that the final annex in the Framework Agreement on the Bangsamoro has been already signed with the Philippine government.

The normalization annex was signed in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia during the 43rd round of exploratory talks that began on January 22.

MILF first vice chairman Ghazali Jaafar said in a phone interview with ABS-CBN Cotabato that they got first-hand information from the negotiating table as everything discussed in Kuala Lumpur had the blessing of the MILF leadership.

The normalization annex, according to Jaafar, is just as equally important as the annexes on transitional arrangement and modalities, power and wealth sharing, as this deals with the security of the Bangsamoro and its people.

The focus will now shift to the Comprehensive Compact Agreement (CCA) in which all the signed agreements of the Philippines government and the MILF will be compiled.

Jaafar said they are optimistic that this can be signed before June, after which the Bangsamoro government will then be organized through a Bangsamoro Transition Authority that will run the transitional government.

The MILF is hopeful that there won't be much problem in the implementation of the CCA with the help and continuous monitoring of the International Contact Group and other international bodies that have been part of the peace process between the Philippine government and the MILF.

The Consortium of Bangsamoro Civil Society in Cotabato (CBCS), meanwhile, extended its appreciation to the Philippine government, especially to President Benigno Aquino III, for another milestone in the peace process.

The CBCS has been following and monitoring the peace process and is also a partner in the series of consultations in preparation for the crafting the Bangsamoro basic law.

Now that the last annex is signed, CBCS spokesman Abdulbasit Benito appealed to Bangsamoro leaders to set aside their differences and unite for peace.

He added that Bangsamoro people should also continue engaging in the series of consultations.