Gov't confident peace talks with MILF to be completed soon
Roel Pareño (The Philippine Star) - November 5, 2013 - 5:13pm

ZAMBOANGA CITY, Philippines  - -The government chief negotiator said the government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) peace panels would only need little time to complete the formal talks over annexes of power- and wealth-sharing to close the negotiation stage.

Miriam Coronel-Ferrer, government chief negotiator, in an informal briefing Tuesday said  they are targeting to complete the negotiation this year.

Ferrer said both panels will resume the formal talks this month in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia to complete the negotiation for the remaining issues on the annexes of power and wealth sharing.

“We are there in the tail end of all these details and the so-called devils in the details have been tamed… We’re down to some elements. We have been able to settle many of the details that have taken a long time. And we’re down to some elements that are of course very important and have been the toughest after more than a year, but we’re almost there. That’s the goal  - to finish it this year,” Ferrer said.

She said that based on the recent negotiation with the MILF panel, the rebel group should tone down their demands and to compromise with the government.

“Palagay ko naman kunting panahon na lang ay mabubuo na ang dalawang annexes para masabi natin nagsara na yong negotiation stage at saka papasok na tayo sa full implementation phase,” Ferrer said.

She said once the negotiation for power-sharing annex is  completed the panel will focus on the normalization, which calls for the decommissioning of the MILF combatants and conversion of the camps into development communities.

Ferrer said what the government panel wants in the normalization  stage is for the MILF to present the base number, combatant strength and its weapons for the government to introduce an appropriate and good program in the decommissioning process.

The government chief negotiator said they understand that  normalization entails funds to provide an alternative social economic livelihood for those who will be leaving the combat forces and joining communities.

“Ang dating kampo...magiging civilian na yong character nya at hindi na siya mag exist,” Ferrer said.

She said the two panels have agreed  that the process in the normalization will be gradual and  will be done in phases.

FERRER GOVERNMENT KUALA LUMPUR MILF MIRIAM CORONEL-FERRER MORO ISLAMIC LIBERATION FRONT NEGOTIATION PALAGAY
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