Sep 152014
 

http://wikileaks.org/cable/2007/10/07MANILA3471.html#
Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
07MANILA3471
2007-10-22 10:06
2011-08-30 01:44
CONFIDENTIAL
Embassy Manila

VZCZCXRO5617
OO RUEHCHI RUEHCN RUEHDT RUEHHM
DE RUEHML #3471/01 2951006
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
O 221006Z OCT 07
FM AMEMBASSY MANILA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 8643
INFO RUEHZS/ASSOCIATION OF SOUTHEAST ASIAN NATIONS IMMEDIATE
RUEHJI/AMCONSUL JEDDAH IMMEDIATE 0346
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC IMMEDIATE
RUEKJCS/JOINT STAFF WASHINGTON DC IMMEDIATE
RHHMUNA/CDRUSPACOM HONOLULU HI IMMEDIATE
C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 MANILA 003471

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 10/23/2017
TAGS: PREL PINS KISL RP
SUBJECT: GOVERNMENT AND MUSLIM INSURGENTS LARGELY AGREE ON TERRITORY; GOVERNANCE STILL AT ISSUE

REF: A. MANILA 3392 (SECURITY ADVISOR ON WAY FORWARD IN

MILF PEACE PROCESS)
¶B. MANILA 3313 (GOVERNMENT AND MILF NARROW
DIFFERENCES ON TERRITORY)
¶C. MANILA 3193 (MUSLIM INSURGENTS MULL GOVERNMENT
TERRITORIAL OFFER)

Classified By: Ambassador Kristie A. Kenney for reasons 1.4 (b) and (d)

¶1. (C) Summary: The Philippine government and Moro Islamic
Liberation Front (MILF) have largely settled their
differences over territory and revenue sharing for a new
Muslim political entity, while leaving governance issues for
future negotiations. Presidential Peace Advisor Dureza
expressed optimism to Ambassador and Deputy Chief of Mission
that an October 23 executive session in Malaysia would set
the stage for the resumption of peace talks, and the signing
of a territorial agreement. The Ambassador underscored
continuing U.S. support for a lasting and workable peace, and
reiterated USG willingness to move with alacrity to help
support a new agreement with assistance projects. Dureza
hopes to gain Congressional approval of enabling legislation
for the enlarged Muslim political entity before mid-2008. In
a further sign of progress, the often-postponed tripartite
conference between the government, the other main Muslim
insurgency (MNLF), and Organization of Islamic Conference to
review implementation of the 1996 final peace pact is
tentatively scheduled for November 6-7 in Jeddah, Saudi
Arabia. End Summary.

¶2. (C) During an October 19 breakfast meeting with the
Ambassador and DCM, Presidential Advisor on the Peace Process
Jesus “Jess” Dureza was upbeat about the Moro Islamic
Liberation Front (MILF) peace process. Government and MILF
negotiators largely settled their differences over territory
to be included in a new, broadened Muslim political entity in
recent back-channel communications facilitated by Malaysia.
Dureza expects an October 23 executive session in Kuala
Lumpur to set the stage for the resumption of peace talks and
the signing of a territorial agreement, possibly during
November.

¶3. (C) Dureza explained that governance issues would be
addressed separately after official peace talks resume
because Philippine Cabinet members have yet to reach a
consensus on the nature of self-determination for a new
Muslim political entity. Separating the issue of governance
from the issue of territory allowed both parties to show
progress in the negotiations to their constituencies,
explained Dureza.

¶4. (C) The Ambassador welcomed the progress in the
negotiations, and encouraged Dureza to maintain the positive
momentum that appeared to be developing. She reiterated the
USG’s strong commitment to providing development assistance
that would help bring lasting security and prosperity to
Mindanao, and noted that the U.S. could move rapidly to help
support a new agreement with assistance.

¶5. (C) Dureza said that the constitutional process, which
requires a plebiscite to create a new Muslim political
entity, was now viewed “with understanding” by Malaysia and
the MILF. Dureza added that he was increasingly engaging
members of Congress on the peace talks, hoping to gain
passage of legislation for a new Muslim political entity,
tentatively to be known as the “Bangsamoro Region.” He said
he would like to achieve this before mid-2008 in order to
overtake scheduled elections in the current Autonomous Region
in Muslim Mindanao. At the same time, legislative provisions
authorizing the new Bangsamoro Region would be “downloaded”
into the existing provisions from the 1996 final peace pact
with the other major Muslim group, the Moro National
Liberation Front (MNLF), explained Dureza, to improve the
prospects for settling the decades-old conflict in Mindanao.
The Ambassador strongly encouraged Dureza to continue his
efforts in advancing the peace process with Congressional
support.

¶6. (C) In a further sign of progress in Mindanao, Dureza
said that the oft-delayed tripartite conference between the
government, MNLF, and Organization of Islamic Conference on
implementation of the 1996 accord has been tentatively
scheduled for November 6-7 in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. Deputy
Presidential Advisor on the Peace Process Nabil Tan will be a
member of the government delegation reviewing implementation
of the 1996 final peace pact. According to Dureza, the
Makati Regional Trial Court has yet to decide whether to
allow MNLF Chairman Nur Misuari, who has been detained for

MANILA 00003471 002 OF 002

sedition since 2001, to participate in this conference.

¶7. (C) Comment: Dureza appeared markedly more confident and
at ease about the peace process, and was able to delineate
more clearly a way forward for at least the next few weeks
for both major lines of negotiation with Muslims in Mindanao.
Combined with a relative lull in the military conflict in
Mindanao, and an increaed emphasis on civil-military
operations by the hilippine armed forces to help improve the
econoic and social welfare of the Philippines’ poorestregion, Dureza may have good cause for his cautiou optimism.

Visit Embassy Manila’s Classified IPRNET website:
http://www.state.sgov.gov/p/eap/anila/index.c fm

You can also access this site trough the State Department’s
Classified SIPRNET wbsite:
http://www.state.sgov.gov/
KENNEY

   

 

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