No gov't-MILF peace pact this year

Posted at 05/02/2012 11:06 PM

COTABATO CITY, Philippines - It would be difficult for the government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) to finalize and approve a peace agreement this year, a peace negotiator said on Wednesday.

Government peace panel member Prof. Miriam Coronel-Ferrer told ABS-CBN News that there are still issues that need to be iron out and agreed upon by the 2 sides.  These include power and wealth sharing, as well as common points on territory.

"This year, mahirap na siguro, kasi marami pa rin ang mga detalye  na pinag-uusapan, power sharing, wealth sharing, at yung territory wala pa tayong common point dun. Tapos marami pa, even dun sa component ng normalization at reconciliation, detalye na dapat upuan pa at hanapan rin ng ibat ibang solusyon at hanapan rin ng suporta ng ibang tao," Ferrer said.

Ferrer said they have been receiving positive feedback from the public following the recent signing of the "10-point decision principles" between government and MILF officials.

This shows that there is still room for peace in Mindanao, she added.

"Maganda ang feedback mga tao, hindi na maiiwasan na may mga agam-agam o concern sila pero on the whole meron silang support na ibinibigay at gusto lamang  nilang tiyakin na ang ibat-ibang interest ay makunsidera din iyun, " Ferrer said.

Meanwhile, the government peace panel is concerned about conflict between factions in Mindanao that might threaten the existing ceasefire between the government and the MILF.

While this is unavoidable, the government peace panel is confident on the mechanisms to deal with such issues.

The panel also vowed to improve its consultations of communities to get a feel and pulse on the ongoing peace negotiations with the MILF.

Ferrer, together with other government panel members, are set to meet different sectors in South Cotabato and General Santos to personally update the public on latest developments in the peace negotiations.

Cotabato Governor Emmylou Talino-Mendoza also asked the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process to personally update the local officials in the province.

The Sangguniang Panlalawigan has passed a resolution requesting OPAPP to go to Cotabato province and inform them on the status of the peace negotations.