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2014 crucial year for peace talks, says MILF

Alexis Romero (The Philippine Star) - January 3, 2014 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - For the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), 2014 would be crucial year for the peace talks even as it remains confident that all issues would be resolved by the negotiators.

In an editorial posted on its website luwaran.com, the MILF said the establishment of a Bangsamoro government in 2016 would hinge on the decisions to be made by the negotiators this year.

This year, according to the MILF, both sides have “to make hard and eventful decisions, which are political milestones in their talks that would ensure the establishment of the Bangsamoro government in 2016.”

“Failure to do so will make the future gloomy,” it added.

The MILF said both panels should sign the comprehensive peace agreement within the first quarter to enable the Bangsamoro Transition Commission to finish the final draft of the Bangsamoro Basic Law.

The draft will then be submitted to President Aquino, who will certify it as urgent to provide lawmakers enough time to pass it into law. 

“This should not be later than May this year,” MILF said. 

“By 2015 the atmosphere will change radically; the fever of the 2016 presidential election will begin to spread its divisive and paralyzing effects. Expect switching of party affiliations and heightened bickering among politicians,” it added.

MILF believes that the Bangsamoro issue would be affected by these political developments even if it is a non-partisan matter.

The Bangsamoro Basic Law, according to the MILF, should be ratified by the people in Bangsamoro territory by yearend or early 2015 to make way for the establishment of the transition authority.

The MILF nevertheless is upbeat on the prospects of the negotiations which are scheduled to resume this month.

“In spite of the still rough road ahead, we are still very hopeful and upbeat that the two parties will finally settle all the remaining issues in the negotiating table,” it said.

BANGSAMORO BANGSAMORO BASIC LAW BANGSAMORO TRANSITION COMMISSION ESTABLISHMENT FOR THE MORO ISLAMIC LIBERATION FRONT LAW MAKE MILF PRESIDENT AQUINO YEAR
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