KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (Updated) – Despite extending the talks for one more day, the government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) failed to arrive at any agreement on Friday, July 12.
Peace panels from both sides left the negotiating table at past 5 pm without signing any annexes needed to complement the Framework Agreement on the Bangsamoro before the final peace pact can be signed.
They, however, agreed to extend the talks for one more day to Saturday, July 13, negotiators from both sides said. Saturday’s session started at about 10:20 am.
The extensions in this current round of talks are reminiscent of the additional days it took the parties to sign the framework agreement, when they extended the talks for 3 days.
On Friday, the parties could not arrive at a compromise on how to share wealth between the envisioned Bangsamoro political entity and the central government.
An agreement on wealth sharing would have been a breakthrough since its contents are also related to the contents of the two other annexes needed for the comprehensive compact – power-sharing and normalization.
Talks reached a near breakdown when the panels left the negotiating table on Thursday, July 11 – the supposed last day of the talks – without any deal on the table.
But the government managed to persuade the MILF to return for one more day to iron out remaining issues.
Along with the issue of power-sharing, wealth-sharing comprises the heart of the comprehensive compact. Its resolution allows the panels to move further with discussions on the annex on power-sharing as well as normalization, which involves decommissioning and policing.