Indonesia

Gov’t, MILF agree on power sharing

Panels decide to leave Bangsamoro waters as a separate item to be taken up in January

SIGNED. The government and the MILF ink a deal on power-sharing between the central government and the proposed Bangsamoro political entity. Photo by OPAPP

MANILA, Philippines (5th UPDATE) – The government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) are one step closer to signing a final peace pact. 

Both sides signed a crucial deal on how power will be shared between the central government and the proposed Bangsamoro political entity during talks in Kuala Lumpur Sunday night, December 8. 

The deal will provide for a ministerial form of government for the new political entity in Mindanao.

Sources said the panels signed the power-sharing annex without a deal on the so-called “Bangsamoro waters” – the most contentious issue in the peace talks. 

The section, which involves both wealth-sharing and power-sharing aspects, will be taken up as a separate item when the panels reconvene in January. 

The power-sharing annex includes the type of powers “reserved” for the central government, those “exclusive” to the Bangsamoro and “concurrent” powers between the two. 

“Since it’s a ministerial form of government, the legislature will be the most important body and it will strive to have a broader representation in terms of sectors aside from geographical and the usual district representation,” said government peace panel chair Miriam Coronel-Ferrer said in a phone interview. 

Under this envisioned structure, the Bangsamoro government will have at least 50 legislative members, who will elect a chief minister among themselves. 

Ferrer said the government is confident the power-sharing annex will withstand legal scrutiny. 

“It was vetted to all the offices concerned and it has gone through different reviews including, of course, the highest office of the land,” Ferrer said. 

For this round, Presidential Spokesperson Edwin Lacierda graced the talks as an observer. Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process Secretary Teresita Deles was also in Kuala Lumpur to witness the signing. (READ: Palace emissaries arrive in KL for GPH-MILF talks)

  Annex on Power Sharing


Last mission: Normalization annex

Aside from the Bangsamoro waters issue, the panels only need to resolve the annex on normalization, which involves sensitive issues on decommissioning of arms and structure of the police force.


In their joint statement, both sides said they hope to sign the comprehensive peace agreement by January 2014. 

The Bangsamoro Transition Commission (BTC) hopes to finish crafting the basic law that will provide the legal framework for the Bangsamoro by April 14, MILF chief negotiator and BTC chairman Mohagher Iqbal earlier said, to give Congress ample time to pass the measure. 


In July, both sides signed the wealth-sharing annex, which provided for a 75-25 arrangement on metallic minerals in favor of the Bangsamoro and automatic appropriations for the proposed entity. They signed the transition annex in February. All 4 annexes will complement the Framework Agreement on the Bangsamoro signed in October 2012. 

The government wants the transition from the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) and the Bangsamoro to occur within the Aquino administration.

The signing of the power-sharing annex comes 3 months after MILF’s rival group, the Moro National Liberation Front, attacked and held Zamboanga City hostage after it felt left out in the peace process. (READ: Zambo crisis: The fog of war)

ARMM Gov Mujiv Hataman, who also joined the talks as an observer on Saturday, welcomed the development in the government-MILF peace process.

“We appeal to all stakeholders to support the ongoing peace negotiations so that we can successfully gear towards its final conclusion,” Hataman said in a statement. 

“The ARMM government reiterates its support to the Mindanao peace agenda and assures our people that we will give way in case of a peace agreement,” he added.  Rappler.com

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