Bangsamoro talks moving forward, says peace negotiator

By Jorge Cariño, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jan 24 2014 02:13 AM | Updated as of Jan 24 2014 10:13 AM

Legislators monitor peace negotiation in Malaysia

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia -- The second day of the 43rd formal exploratory talks continued Thursday at the Palace of the Golden Horses, with the negotiators still wearing smiles on their faces.

Government of the Philippines (GPH) chief negotiator Prof. Miriam Coronel-Ferrer was still all smiles when she emerged from the State Room of the hotel during the lunch break of the talks.

She said her smile is coming from the fact that the talks are moving forward and something is being done towards achieving a Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro.

The talks also had Representative Lilia Macrohon-Nuno of Zamboanga City's 2nd Legislative District as a guest, who sat and listened inside the room.

Nuno is part of a delegation of the House of Representatives, whose other members are coming in today and tomorrow to observe the negotiations.

"Importante yung pagdalaw nila dito kasi maiintindihan nila kung ano ba pinag-uusapan, makita nila, ma-feel yung flavor nung negotiations, what kind of issues we are discussing, what kinds of ah compromises and creative solutions that we are putting forward," Ferrer said.

Senator Koko Pimentel also arrived at noon here in Kuala Lumpur and is scheduled to sit and observe the negotiations tomorrow.

Senator TG Guingona, who heads the Senate Committee on Peace, Unification and Reconciliation, is also expected to arrive.

Ferrer noted that the presence of the Philippine legislators in the negotiations is important since the senators and congressmen will be the one to craft the Basic Law for the Bangsamoro.

Nuno believes that understanding the negotiations will help legislators like her understand the peace process with the MILF.

Though she admits that their city is not part of the Bangsamoro, their communities' economy is being pushed by the island provinces of Basilan, Sulu and Tawi-tawi, which will be covered by the Bangsamoro.

"Since the neighboring provinces are part of the Bangsamoro, whatever gains they have, Zamboanga city will also benefit from it," Nuno said.