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Urging the GRP to break the stand-off in the peace talks with the MILF

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    Urging the GRP to break the stand-off in the peace talks with the MILF When the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) started talking peace with the Government
    Message 1 of 1 , Oct 9, 2006
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      Urging the GRP to break the stand-off in the peace talks with the
      MILF



      When the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) started talking peace
      with the Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GRP) on
      January 7, 1997, the former pushed for a single-point agendum for the
      peace negotiations that is "How to solve the `Bangsamoro Problem".


      And there was a "gentlemen's agreement" by the negotiating parties
      that the MILF would not bring out the issue of independence in the
      talks and the government the issue of constitution, sovereignty and
      territorial integrity as part of confidence building measures.


      It has been a public knowledge that the goal of the Bangsamoro
      struggle is to liberate themselves from the clutches of the
      oppressive and neo-colonial Philippine regime including foreign
      colonialism to ultimately regain full independence. The MILF never
      made it an agenda in its peace talks with the GRP to uphold the
      said "gentlemen's agreement".


      Since 1997, the parties have already signed a number of peace
      agreements, joint communiqu├ęs and aide-memoirs, among others. In all
      those documents, one can nowhere find such words and phrases as
      independence, constitutional process or sovereignty and territorial
      integrity. There was, however, some reference on international human
      rights laws as well as international humanitarian laws.

      However, during the 13th Exploratory Talks held in Kuala Lumpur,
      Malaysia last September 6-7, the peace panels did not come into an
      agreement on the strand of territory of the proposed Bangsamoro
      Juridical Entity due to the constitutional process invoked by the
      government.


      Learning from the MNLF experiences, the MILF rejected said offer
      asserting "it does not want to repeat the failure of the GRP-MNLF
      Final Peace Agreement (FPA) of September 2, 1996". Until now the
      government is yet to deliver its commitment on the said Agreement.


      On the other hand, the government stands firm in its position that
      the existing Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) cannot be
      expanded unless it goes through a constitutional process. That, its
      hands are tied to the constitution in any agreement it must enter to
      with the instruments.


      With this situation, we firmly believe that in resolving the
      Bangsamoro issue, the GRP and the MILF must exert all efforts to be
      creative and resourceful. The government, on one hand, must give
      preference to Human Security as the over-all arching goal rather than
      the state security and refrain from invoking the constitution as the
      final process in reaching out agreement and peace. The human beings
      are far greater in value than the state and than the constitution.
      People's integrity is more important than territories. The MILF on
      the other hand can hold in abeyance some of the territories outside
      of the 613 barangays and the ARMM offered by the government in
      transitional status to give itself ample time to show the viability
      of a Moro-led society. In other words, we would like to see the peace
      process continue beyond the signing of any political settlement.


      There is the only way and the right way. The old way and the new way
      of negotiating employed by the government is not working. Getting out
      of the constitutional box and exploring a more creative and human
      security-based means is the right way out.


      War is always a threat to human security. There are no winners but
      only losers.


      We, therefore, urge the Government of the Republic of the Philippines
      to have a strong political will to resolve the impending impasse' and
      to be more flexible in its position to the current peace talks.



      Signatories:




      (SGD) Dr. Pendatun Pangadil (SGD)Sammy Maulana

      Bangsamoro Coalition for Peace Bangsamoro Civil Society
      for Peace

      (BCP) (BCSP)




      Prof. Taha Usop (SGD) Bobby
      Benito

      Bangsamoro Peace Advocates Center for Justpeace

      (BPA) (CJP)





      (SGD) Alibai Benito

      Bangsamoro Women for Peace
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