Power-sharing: a step closer to a more peaceful Mindanao
by FFE PH News Staff
The Philippine government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) has signed a power-sharing agreement over disputed areas in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM), a step closer to a more peaceful ARMM that is laden with insurgencies by Muslim rebels.
The two parties said in a joint statement that they have signed on Sunday in Kuala Lumpur “the agreement on the delineation and sharing of power between the central government and the Bangsamoro government” in the autonomous area.
The two sides added that they are “confident” to sign the last remaining annex on normalization and to complete the comprehensive peace agreement by January 2014.
Head of the government peace panel Teresita Deles said the power-sharing agreement is “the heart of the entire peace accord.”
“The signing of the Annex on Power Sharing ensures the achievement of a genuine and viable autonomy for the Bangsamoro,” Deles added.
Last October, the two sides signed an initial pact to end the conflict. Under the initial agreement the MILF would give up its claim for an independent homeland in the southern island of Mindanao and in return should be given significant power and wealth sharing in the autonomous region. Philippine President Benigno Aquino Jr said that he is confident that the insurgency will be settled before his term ends in 2016. The signing of the power-sharing annex is a step closer in completing a comprehensive peace deal, considered as the foundation of the Aquino Administration.
The panels will meet again in January where they will discuss the normalization annex that will pave the way for the crafting the draft of the Bangsamoro Basic Law.
The draft basic law would be submitted to the Congress in April 2014 said MILF chief negotiator Mohagher Iqbal.
Muslim rebels have been fighting for an independent state in the southern Philippines since the 1970’s.