June 07, 2013
KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia – During a conference Wednesday (June 5th) in Malaysia, the head of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) urged the Philippines government to complete the agreement on the proposed Bangsamoro region to ensure lasting peace in the south, media reported.
"Every minute of delay in finishing the Annexes to the Framework Agreement on the Bangsamoro poses a threat to peace ... Every minute of delay in putting closure to the peace negotiations decreases the optimism generated by the signing of the Framework Agreement on the Bangsamoro," MILF chairman Al Haj Murad Ebrahim said at the 27th Asia-Pacific Roundtable forum, according to Free Malaysia Today.
Since signing the preliminary agreement in October, MILF and the government have held a series of talks regarding the annexes on wealth-sharing, power sharing and normalisation in the region, Xinhua reported. Murad said "new and innovative mechanisms" are needed to ensure the success at this stage in the peace process.
He also predicted that former Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) chairman Nur Misuari will ultimately sign onto the peace process, which Malaysia is facilitating, The Star reported. Misuari has been critical of the negotiations.
At the same conference, the Philippines government made clear that the siege in part of Borneo last February by followers of a Philippine sultan would not affect the peace process in Mindanao.
"The armed intrusion was carried out by a group whose motivations have nothing to do with the peace agreement signed between the government and the MILF. The claims (by the Sulu sultanate) should instead be addressed through separate negotiations," said Secretary Teresita Quintos-Deles, the presidential adviser on the peace process, according to New Straits Times.