MANILA, Philippines - The Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) is confident that the power-sharing agreement with government can stand the scrutiny of "honest minds" despite a warning from followers of Nur Misuari that it could trigger fresh attacks.
In an editorial on its website luwaran.com, the MILF said: “Modesty aside, the annex on power-sharing is a class of its own. It can be open for scrutiny and we are optimistic that honest minds will have difficulty criticizing it.
“It is not a perfect agreement, because there had never been a perfect agreement in all times. For the fault-finders, however, they are the breed that never sees good things in life, because they see the world as ugly and unfit for living.
“This is a world of imperfection, and as such, one has to struggle in all spheres of life not to achieve utopian perfection in this life but to install justice to every collective human endeavor and relationship. The Annex on Power-Sharing is one such product of struggle.”
The MILF said the power-sharing annex is “the most contentious” and “most difficult” of the three annexes to the Bangsamoro framework agreement.
The signing of the annex was made possible through the efforts of negotiators from both panels, the Malaysian facilitator, the international community and civil society, the MILF added.
On the other hand, MNLF spokesman Absalom Cerveza said the signing of the power-sharing annex had prodded them to aspire for an independent state.
“Certainly, that would lead to another war,” he said. “They can sign everything. If they want to continue then let the war continue.”
The government and MILF panels signed the wealth-sharing annex last July.
Discussions on the normalization annex have been slated for January.
The government is optimistic that a final peace agreement will be signed soon.
Under the power-sharing deal, a Bangsamoro ministerial Cabinet will be formed and appointed by a chief minister and a Bangsamoro council of leaders.
At least 50 members will constitute the legislative assembly of the Bangsamoro ministerial government.
The central government will continue to exercise authority on key aspects like foreign policy, defense and external security, coinage and monetary policy, citizenship, postal service and naturalization.
The Bangsamoro and central government will exercise concurrent powers on penology and penitentiary, land registration, social security and pension, administration of justice and human rights.
The Bangsamoro government will be given exclusive powers on economic and cultural exchanges, budgeting, banking, land management, agriculture, sports and other matters.