GPH, MILF to resume talks in December PDF Print E-mail
Monday, 28 November 2011 16:39

The peace panels of the government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front will meet in the first week of December for the resumption of talks that was stalled after the MILF rejected the government’s counter-proposal for peace in Mindanao.

Jun Mantawil, head of secretariat of the MILF panel confirmed the meeting but did not reveal specific dates.

Mantawil did not also specify what the agenda of the meeting would be, except to say that the negotiation would find a “political solution” to the Mindanao problem.
The government has submitted its counter-proposal, a “3 for 1 formula,” to the MILF during their meeting sometime in August this year but MILF chief negotiator Mohagher Iqhal declared that the gap between the government and the MILF’s proposals was “heaven and earth.”

Asked if they would discuss the proposals of both parties in the December meeting, Mantawil replied in a text message that “I can’t preempt.”

After the submission of the government’s counter-proposal, the MILF suggested that the third party facilitator, the Malaysian government, do a shuttling between both panels as a strategy to bring the peace process back on its track, a proposition that was accepted by government negotiators led by lawyer Marvic Leonen.

Speaking to peace advocates in Mindanao during the Second National Solidarity Conference on Mindanao, Leonen said they were open to talk even informally with the MILF if only to save the talks.

Leonen summarized the government’s “3 for 1” formula as massive economic development in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM); political settlement with the MILF; and cultural-historical acknowledgment.

The MILF has proposed a Bangsamoro sub-state that shall have an asymmetrical relation with the national government. The areas proposed to be governed by the sub-state are the same as those proposed in the botched Memorandum of Agreement on Ancestral Domain.

The MOA-AD was declared by the Supreme Court as unconstitutional leading to renewed hostilities in 2008 in parts of Lanao, Cotabato and Maguindanao. — Romy Elusfa/MindaNews Contributor