MILF asks gov’t to withdraw newly-proposed peace pact

MANILA, Philippines (Xinhua) — Officials of Philippines’ Moro Islamic Liberation Front have virtually asked the Aquino administration, through the Malaysian official facilitating the peace process between the rebel group and the government, to withdraw its recently-proposed peace pact.

“The only possible way of (moving forward) is they move out of their 3 in 1 (proposal),” said MILF peace panel vice chairman Michael Mastura.

The government’s 3 in 1 proposal was submitted to the MILF during the last round of talks held in Kuala Lumpur between Aug. 22 and Aug. 24.

The proposal was in response to the MILF’s Comprehensive Compact Agreement submitted to the government last year. The MILF proposal includes the establishment of a Bangsamoro sub-state which they said will solve the problems in the South.

Government chief negotiator Marvic Leonen has said the 3 in 1 approach includes components, such as massive economic development, political settlement with the MILF, and cultural-historical acknowledgment.

Mastura noted that the MILF and the government panels have previously entered into a Declaration of Continuity. MILF officials have earlier said the government offer did not take into account previous agreements.

Mastura said,”They want to deal now, only the present. Is there a peace process like that?…Its very clear that our last document was a Declaration of Continuity.”

“That is not a new deal, it’s a continuation of unresolved points. This means in graphic term that we go back what was agreed in consensus points. If they are going to deny that consensus points, then this government is not negotiating with good faith,” he said.

These agreements, he said, includes the reframing of the consensus points under the Memorandum of Agreement on Ancestral Domain which the Supreme Court declared unconstitutional in 2008.