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Plebiscite may decide fate of final peace pact, MILF says

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The final peace agreement between the government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), especially the inclusion of areas to the proposed new Bangsamoro entity, may undergo a plebiscite, a top rebel official said.

Ghadzali Jaafar, MILF vice chairman for political affairs, issued the pronouncement as the peace panels resumed negotiations in Kuala Lumpur, the capital of third-party mediator Malaysia.

“The plebiscite will depend on the content of the [final peace] agreement. That [plebiscite] will have to be discussed. But for the MILF, we want the ARMM (Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao) and areas with Moro population within the new Bangsamoro entity,” he told a local radio station.

Last month, he said government and MILF peace negotiators agreed in principle to create a new Bangsamoro entity that would replace the autonomous Muslim region.

Jaafar said the establishment of a new autonomous political entity would be among the major points that will be tackled during the resumption of peace negotiations.

The MILF had dropped its bid for an independent state, proposing instead a Bangsamoro sub-state with “asymmetrical relationship” with the Philippine state.

Jaafar said the MILF is optimistic that the final peace agreement “would be accommodated by the ambit of the Philippine Constitution.”

Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process Teresita Quintos Deles expressed optimism that the GPH and MILF peace panels will build on what has already been achieved during the last round of negotiations.

"We are hoping that the next round of talks will be able to build on the gains established with the signing of the Decision Points on Principles during the April meeting,” she said in a statement.

The GPH and MILF panels met Monday in Kuala Lumpur for the 28th formal exploratory talks.

Last month, both parties signed the Decision Points on Principles which contains 10 mutually identified standpoints that will serve as the framework for discussions towards crafting the final peace agreement.

“The GPH panel goes to KL having undergone intensive preparations for the substantive agenda which are on the table. These are difficult issues which may test the will and patience of the two parties,” Deles said.

In preparation for the talks this month, the GPH panel conducted consultations with various stakeholders, which included senators, congressmen, local chief executives in Mindanao, business leaders and Ulamas, to know their sentiments and gather their inputs on the GPH-MILF peace process.

Last Friday, Mario Victor F. Leonen, government chief peace negotiator, met with Mindanao’s business sector in Davao City in a forum dubbed “Engaging Business in the Peace Process,” spearheaded by the Mindanao Business Council and the Davao City Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Inc.

by: PNA




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+2 #2 benbaliwasan 2012-06-01 12:06
Subay tuod mapaawon "plebiscite" para kaingatan uno ing kabayaan ha mga taimanghod ta muslim. Even within the present ARMM area a substantial segment of the population are doubting the wisdom of a "Moro Substate", considering the poor governance in the autonomous region.
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+5 #1 ibrahim 2012-05-30 15:11
there must also be plebiscite for areas that are presently under ARMM, but presently do not want to be under ARMM. people must be given the chance to vote out of the armm, after they saw and realized the mistake of joining it. because ARMM or whatever name changing they do, is still the same corrupt system that only the politicians are benefiting from it, people remain poor and law and order is still bad.
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