AQUINO WARY OF MISUARI AND OTHER PEACE SPOILERS

President Benigno Aquino III said he did not consider Nur Misuari, the fugitive founding chair of the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF), a “spent force,” as he remained wary of those who would want to spoil the gains of a peace agreement between the government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF). “Yes, I am sure. It could be the BIFF (Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters), or it could be some other group. They might be a new group,” the President said when asked in an interview with the Inquirer on Wednesday if there could be people from the MNLF who might be agitated by a peace agreement between government and the MILF. Government and MILF negotiators completed talks in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, yesterday on the normalization annex, the last document that would complete a peace agreement between the two parties aimed at ending four decades of fighting in central Mindanao.
Asked if he considered Misuari a spent force, the President said in Filipino: “I won’t say that. If you are a terrorist, even if there are only three of you, it’s enough. Even if you’re alone, it’s enough.”

ALSO: Gov’t, MILF seal peace deal

The Philippine government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) have signed the last annex of the Bangsamoro framework, sealing the peace pact that seeks to end the decades-long Muslim secessionist movement in the country. The government panel also signed the addendum on the Bangsamoro Waters on Saturday in Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia, which has been brokering the negotiations. Earlier in the day, Presidential spokesperson Edwin Lacierda tweeted: “Ladies and gentlemen, we have an agreement.” The government said it was expecting good news on Saturday’s plenary meeting in Kuala Lumpur on the normalization annex that would discuss the laying down of arms by both parties. Lacierda in a separate tweet posted a picture of Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process Secretary Teresita “Ging” Deles, Philippine Peace Panel Chairperson Miriam Coronel-Ferrer, and Yasmin Busran-Lao, government panel member, shedding tears of joy after the agreement. Saturday’s agreement also coincided with the birthday of the late President Corazon Aquino, OPAPP said.

ALSO: The way to peace in Mindanao

1997 Peace talks with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) begin, months after the government signs a peace accord with the Nur Misuari-led Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF). 2008 July—After more than a decade of on-and-off talks, the government and the MILF announce an agreement to expand the autonomous Moro region in Mindanao. 2010 July 15—President Aquino assembles new panel to resume talks, names Marvic Leonen, dean of the University of the Philippines College of Law, as chair. August 31—The President announces that Malaysia will remain facilitator of the talks. 2011 August 4—The President holds secret meeting with MILF chair Murad Ebrahim in Tokyo; two sides agree to speed up peace talks. The meeting is a first since the talks began in 1997. 2012 April 25—The government and the MILF panels announce agreement to create a new autonomous political entity to replace the ARMM. 2013 February 11—The President and MILF chairman Al Haj Murad Ebrahim launched Sajahatra Bangsamoro(“Blessings, Prosperity and Peace upon the Bangsamoro”) at the Bangsamoro Leadership and Management Institute in Sulta Kudarat, Maguindanao 2014 January 24—43rd Government of the Philippines and MILF Exploratory Talks in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia start allowing for the completion of the normalization annex. January 25— The Philippine government and the MILF agree to sign the last annex of the Bangsamoro framework, sealing the peace pact that seeks to end the decades-long Muslim secessionist movement in the country.


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Aquino wary of Misuari, other peace deal spoilers

MANILA, JANUARY 27, 2013 (INQUIRER) By Nikko Dizon -


President Benigno Aquino III and Nur Misuari. AP FILE PHOTOS

MANILA -President Benigno Aquino III said he did not consider Nur Misuari, the fugitive founding chair of the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF), a “spent force,” as he remained wary of those who would want to spoil the gains of a peace agreement between the government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF).

“Yes, I am sure. It could be the BIFF (Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters), or it could be some other group. They might be a new group,” the President said when asked in an interview with the Inquirer on Wednesday if there could be people from the MNLF who might be agitated by a peace agreement between government and the MILF.

Government and MILF negotiators completed talks in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, yesterday on the normalization annex, the last document that would complete a peace agreement between the two parties aimed at ending four decades of fighting in central Mindanao.

Asked if he considered Misuari a spent force, the President said in Filipino: “I won’t say that. If you are a terrorist, even if there are only three of you, it’s enough. Even if you’re alone, it’s enough.”

Hunting Misuari

Authorities are hunting Misuari for instigating his followers to take over Zamboanga City in September last year, claiming that the government abrogated the 1996 peace agreement with the MNLF after it proposed to wind down the tripartite review of the organic law facilitated by Indonesia.|

The government and the MNLF are reviewing some provisions of the organic law creating the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM). Mr. Aquino once described the ARMM as a “failed experiment.”

In the Zamboanga siege, Misuari loyalists took hostage more than 200 residents and left a part of the city in ruins.

It was the first urban warfare fought by the Armed Forces of the Philippines, and the worst security threat faced by Mr. Aquino’s three-year-old administration. As commander in chief, the President personally oversaw the military operations to expel the rebels from Zamboanga.

Lost cause

President Aquino said spoilers would certainly be “alienated” once the people started to feel the gains of a peace agreement.

“We start off with a vast majority who is no longer supportive of your (the spoilers’) clandestine activities … There would be no more safe havens. It would be difficult for the bandit groups. If electricity is disrupted, a bridge is blown up and the produce is not brought to the market … All of this, would they gain sympathy? Probably not, so the majority will tell the others, we are living quiet lives and you don’t want to help us? So the more they would be alienated. The more they would become a lost cause, a weak factor,” Mr. Aquino said.

The President said reports reaching him indicated that other MNLF factions were supportive of the peace initiatives of the government.

In Kuala Lumpur on Friday, Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process Teresita Deles said spoilers “have always been anticipated.”

“We know that no peace agreement has been signed anywhere in the world [without] some people [who] don’t want it to happen,” Deles said.

‘Normalization’

She said this was among the reasons why the normalization annex was included in the peace agreement with the MILF.

The 1996 peace agreement with the MNLF included the integration of the MNLF fighters to the Armed Forces of the Philippines, but they were not made to lay down their firearms.

Deles said the term “normalization” was used precisely to convey the message that a return to normal life for the MILF fighters and the Bangsamoro communities would not come immediately after the signing of the peace agreement.

“You have to plan it out. You have to have a [plan] for [doing] that,” Deles said.

Gov’t, MILF seal peace deal INQUIRER.net 4:56 pm | Saturday, January 25th, 2014


VIDEO: Kasaysayan ng Bangsamoro entity


FROM ABS-CBN: Secretary Deles has confirmed that power sharing annex of Bangsamoro Framework Agreement has been agreed upon by both PH and MILF panels tonight in Kuala Lumpur. She said the President congratulated and thanked both panels. Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) Secretary Herminio Coloma said. Now, only the Annex on Normalization or the laying down of arms remains to be signed in the Bangsamoro Framework Agreement.

MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) have signed the last annex of the Bangsamoro framework, sealing the peace pact that seeks to end the decades-long Muslim secessionist movement in the country.

The government panel also signed the addendum on the Bangsamoro Waters on Saturday in Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia, which has been brokering the negotiations.

Earlier in the day, Presidential spokesperson Edwin Lacierda tweeted: “Ladies and gentlemen, we have an agreement.”

The government said it was expecting good news on Saturday’s plenary meeting in Kuala Lumpur on the normalization annex that would discuss the laying down of arms by both parties.

Lacierda in a separate tweet posted a picture of Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process Secretary Teresita “Ging” Deles, Philippine Peace Panel Chairperson Miriam Coronel-Ferrer, and Yasmin Busran-Lao, government panel member, shedding tears of joy after the agreement.

Saturday’s agreement also coincided with the birthday of the late President Corazon Aquino, OPAPP said.

The MILF, which has been pushing for secession for decades, signed with the Philippine government the Framework Agreement on the Bangsamoro in October 2012.

Both parties have also signed the annexes on transitional arrangements and modalities, revenue generation and wealth sharing, and power sharing.

Once the documents are completed, a separate political entity called the Bangsamoro Political Entity will replace the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM).

The peace agreement with the MILF is one of the cornerstones of the administration of President Benigno Aquino III.
The Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro (CAB), comprising four annexes, will be signed in Manila.

While other armed groups remain, turning the Moro rebel group into a government ally is seen as a key step to end the Muslim insurgency.

One rebel group vowed to keep fighting.

“We will continue the struggle,” said Abu Misri, spokesman of Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Movement, which broke off from the MILF three years ago. “What we want is an Islamic state, an Islamic people, an Islamic constitution,” he told The Associated Press by telephone Saturday.

Moro National Liberation Front rebels took scores of hostages in September when they seized coastal communities in southern Zamboanga City after accusing the government of reneging on its commitments under a 1996 autonomy deal.

Thousands of troops ended the 10-day uprising with a major offensive that killed more than 200 people, most of them insurgents.

Late Friday, four explosions damaged a gymnasium and the main gate of the town hall of Malabang municipality in southern Lanao del Sur province. Police said it was not immediately clear if groups opposed to the talks were involved.

Evan Jendruck from the IHS Jane’s Terrorism and Insurgency Centre said the success of the new peace agreement hinges on the ability of the former Moro insurgents to put other armed groups under control. While the military would still have a presence in the new autonomous region, security would basically be in the hands of a Bangsamoro force composed of former insurgents.

“Will MILF be able to fill the power vacuum? If they don’t do that, then the peace process won’t go forward,” Jendruck said.

A preliminary peace accord that was about to be signed in Malaysia was turned down in 2008 by the Supreme Court, sparking rebel attacks on Christian communities that provoked a major military offensive and shattered a ceasefire.

The way to peace in Mindanao Inquirer Research, INQUIRER.net 5:51 pm | Saturday, January 25th, 2014

1997
Peace talks with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) begin, months after the government signs a peace accord with the Nur Misuari-led Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF).

2008
July—After more than a decade of on-and-off talks, the government and the MILF announce an agreement to expand the autonomous Moro region in Mindanao.

Proposed memorandum of agreement on ancestral domain, or MOA-AD, calls for a Bangsamoro Juridical Entity (BJE) with its own “basic law,” police and internal security force, and system of banking and finance, civil service, education and legislative and electoral institutions, as well as full authority to develop and dispose of minerals and other natural resources.

The BJE includes the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM); six municipalities in Lanao del Norte; hundreds of villages in the provinces of Sultan Kudarat, Lanao del Norte and North Cotabato, which voted in 2001 to become part of the ARMM; and parts of Palawan.

August 4—The Supreme Court stops signing of the MOA-AD, scheduled the following day, amid strong public opposition; clashes erupt in Mindanao.

September 3—Violence prompts Malacañang to announce that it will not sign the MOA-AD and dissolve its peace panel.

October 14—The Supreme Court, voting 8-7, declares the MOA-AD unconstitutional, describes the process that led to its crafting as “whimsical, capricious, oppressive, arbitrary and despotic.” It affirms its decision on Nov. 11, triggering MILF attacks on Christian communities in Mindanao that send 750,000 people fleeing their homes and leaving 400 dead.

2010
July 15—President Aquino assembles new panel to resume talks, names Marvic Leonen, dean of the University of the Philippines College of Law, as chair.
August 31—The President announces that Malaysia will remain facilitator of the talks.
2011
August 4—The President holds secret meeting with MILF chair Murad Ebrahim in Tokyo; two sides agree to speed up peace talks. The meeting is a first since the talks began in 1997.

August 22—Exploratory talks begin in Kuala Lumpur.

October 18—MILF forces clash with military troops in Al-Barka, Basilan, leaving 19 soldiers and six rebels dead.

December 5—Formal talks resume in Kuala Lumpur.

2012
April 25—The government and the MILF panels announce agreement to create a new autonomous political entity to replace the ARMM.

October 7—President Aquino says “framework agreement” reached with MILF to establish a new autonomous entity, to be called Bangsamoro, administered by Muslims

2013
February 11—The President and MILF chairman Al Haj Murad Ebrahim launched Sajahatra Bangsamoro(“Blessings, Prosperity and Peace upon the Bangsamoro”) at the Bangsamoro Leadership and Management Institute in Sulta Kudarat, Maguindanao

March 7—Task Force Sajahatra was created bvy the MILF at Camp Darapanan to deal closely with the government’s Task Force on Bangsamoro Development.

December 4—42nd Government of the Philippines and MILF Exploratory Talks start.

December 6—MILF chief negotiator Mohagher Iqbal has said that a final draft of the Bangsamoro Basic Law that will seal a final peace deal with the government would be finalized in April next year

December 7—42nd Government of the Philippines and MILF Exploratory Talks end.

2014
January 24—43rd Government of the Philippines and MILF Exploratory Talks in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia start allowing for the completion of the normalization annex.

The normalization annex deals with the overall security in the new Bangsamoro that would replace the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao and the timeframe and manner by which the Moro rebels are expected to lay down their arms.

This could be the final round of negotiations between the two panels should they agree on the last annex that would make up the comprehensive peace agreement aimed.

January 25— The Philippine government and the MILF agree to sign the last annex of the Bangsamoro framework, sealing the peace pact that seeks to end the decades-long Muslim secessionist movement in the country.
 


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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