Oct 222014
 

http://wikileaks.org/cable/2006/05/06MANILA2013.html#

Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
06MANILA2013 2006-05-10 08:47 2011-08-30 01:44 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Manila
VZCZCXRO9322
PP RUEHCHI RUEHDT RUEHHM
DE RUEHML #2013/01 1300847
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
P 100847Z MAY 06
FM AMEMBASSY MANILA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 0941
INFO RUEHZS/ASSOCIATION OF SOUTHEAST ASIAN NATIONS PRIORITY
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC PRIORITY
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC PRIORITY
RUEABND/DEA WASHDC PRIORITY
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC PRIORITY
RHHMUNA/CDRUSPACOM HONOLULU HI PRIORITY
C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 04 MANILA 002013

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

STATE FOR EAP, EAP/MTS, EAP/MLS, INR/EAP, INR/TNC, S/CT
NSC FOR MORROW

E.O. 12958: DECL: 05/11/2016
TAGS: PGOV PTER PREL MOPS PINS KISL MY RP
SUBJECT: GRP-MILF PEACE TALKS DEADLOCKED OVER TERRITORIAL CLAIMS

REF: A. MANILA 1887
¶B. MANILA 1747
¶C. MANILA 1395

Classified By: Acting Pol/C Joseph L. Novak for reasons 1.4 (b) and (d)
.

¶1. (C) Summary. GRP and Moro Islamic Liberation Front
(MILF) negotiators failed to reach an agreement on ancestral
domain during their 12th Round of Exploratory Talks, but were
successful in expanding the composition/mandate of the
International Monitoring Team, and extending the Ad Hoc Joint
Action Group until June 2007. Additional exploratory talks
and on-the-ground surveys are being planned by the GRP-MILF
Peace Panels to break their deadlock over territorial claims.
End Summary.

——————————————–
Control of Territory Remains Stumbling Block
——————————————–

¶2. (SBU) The GRP and MILF Peace Panels held their 12th Round
of Exploratory Talks in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia on May 2-4.
Secretary Silvestre C. Afable chaired the GRP delegation,

SIPDIS
which included retired Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP)
Vice-Chief of Staff Rodolfo Garcia, Sultan Kudurat Provincial
Governor Pax Mangudadatu, Western Mindanao University
professor Rudy Rodil, and Indigenous Peoples representative
and chairman of the Mindanao Coalition of Development NGOs
Sylvia Paraguya. The MILF delegation was composed of Peace
Panel Chairman Mohager Iqbal, Technical Working Group Head
Musib Buat, Maulana Robert Alonto, and legal advisors Michael
Mastura and Lanang Ali.

¶3. (C) Executive Director of the GRP Peace Negotiations
Panel Secretariat Ryan Sullivan told poloff on May 8 that the
MILF claimed ancestral domain (i.e. hereditary land rights)
over eighty-four municipalities outside of the Autonomous
Region of Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) that have communities of
Muslims and/or Lumads (indigenous peoples). An MILF proposal
to have a Bangsamoro Juridical Entity control two-thirds of
Mindanao — the five-province ARMM (Basilan, Sulu, Tawi-Tawi,
Maguindanao, and Lanao Del Sur Provinces), one-half of the
Zamboanga Peninsula, most of North Cotabato, South Cotabato,
Sultan Kudurat and Lanao Del Norte Provinces, and parts of
Palawan, Sarangani, Bukidnon, Davao Del Norte, and Davao
Oriental Provinces — was unacceptable to the GRP Peace
Panel. Consequently, the 12th Exploratory Talks in Kuala
Lumpur concluded on May 4 without an ancestral domain
agreement between the two parties, according to Sullivan.

——————————
Joint Validation Survey Needed
——————————

¶4. (C) Sullivan commented that the MILF’s inclusion of at
least 18 tribes of Lumads in its ancestral domain claim
significantly expanded the territory to be placed under a
Bangsamoro Juridical Entity. An on-the-ground joint
validation survey will be necessary to determine the number
of Lumads in Mindanao that actually support being part of a
Bangsamoro Homeland.

—————————
The Devil Is In the Details
—————————

¶5. (C) Details regarding revenue sharing from natural
resources (petroleum, natural gas, and minerals) will be
discussed during formal talks after the signing of an
ancestral domain agreement. The consensus points reached
thus far on this key issue have been conceptual, according to
Sullivan.

¶6. (C) Sullivan said the MILF wanted mining companies in a
“Bangsamoro Homeland” to be socially and environmentally
responsible. Existing mining contracts would be honored
until expiration, at which time new contracts would have to
be negotiated with the Bangsamoro Juridical Entity.

——————————————
Expansion of International Monitoring Team
——————————————

MANILA 00002013 002 OF 004

¶7. (C) GRP and MILF negotiators agreed to request a one-year
extension for the Malaysia-led International Monitoring Team
(IMT) and to expand the membership of this effective
peacekeeping force. Since the deployment of the IMT in
October 2004, ceasefire violations significantly decreased
from 500 during 2002-2004 to only 37 in calendar year 2005,
according to GRP data.

¶8. (C) The GRP-MILF Peace Panels requested Malaysia, Brunei,
and Libya to extend the IMT’s mandate and expand its
membership to include other nations. Sullivan noted that
discussions were already underway between the GRP, MILF, and
Japanese Government regarding the latter’s potential
monitoring of the socio-economic and development aspects of
the peace process. (Note: Based on local press reporting,
the Director of the Second Southeast Asia Division of Japan’s
Foreign Ministry, Shigeo Yamada, and the First Secretary of
the Political Section of the Japanese Embassy in Manila,
Yoshihisa Yamada, met with MILF leaders in Sultan Kudurat,
Maguindanao Province on May 7 to discuss Japan’s role in the
GRP-MILF peace process. End Note.)

————————————–
Extension of Ad Hoc Joint Action Group
————————————–

¶9. (C) The GRP-MILF Peace Panels also agreed to extend the
mandate of the Ad Hoc Joint Action Group (AHJAG) until June
¶2007. AHJAG Chairman/Armed Forces of the Philippines
Brigadier-General Ben D. Dolorfino told poloff on April 18
that the GRP-MILF AHJAG was composed of five teams. Each
team has at least four members — two GRP and two MILF — who
report to an AHJAG Core Leadership Group.

— Team 1 covers Maguindanao, North Cotabato, and Bukidnon
Provinces. The MILF members are Professor Tahir S. Kanakan
and George Kasim.

— Team 2 covers Lanao Del Sur, Lanao Del Norte, Misamis
Oriental, and Misamis Occidental Provinces. The MILF members
are Engineer Aliodin S. Sangcopan and Ameruding P. Usman.

— Team 3 covers the Zamboanga Del Sur, Zamboanga Del Norte,
and Zamboanga Sibugay Provinces. The MILF members are Amsid
Sanson and Bonnie Salih.

— Team 4 covers Socsargen (South Cotabato-Sultan
Kudurat-Sarangani-General Santos). The MILF members are
Hadji Salem M. Abu and Ustadz Ansar A. Kudanding.

— Team 5 covers Davao Del Norte, Davao Del Sur, Davao
Oriental, and Compostela Valley Provinces. The MILF members
are Jebreil Arafat and Abidin S. Arip.

— The MILF representatives on the AHJAG Core Leadership
Group are Attorney Abdul M. Dataya, Dr. Saffrullah M.
Dipatuan, Mohammad Nasif, and Bashir L. Takasan.

¶9. (C) According to Dolorfino, during calendar year 2005,
the GRP-MILF AHJAG conducted 21 operations that resulted in
the killing of 8 members of the Abu Sayyaf Group and Jemaah
Islamiya; arrest of 6 criminals operating in MILF
communities; rescue of 14 kidnap victims; recovery of 2
stolen vehicles, 12 high-powered firearms, and one .45
pistol; the burning of 2,500 fully grown marijuana plants
with an estimated street value of 2.5 million pesos ($46,476
US); and the prevention of misunderstandings/armed encounters
between GRP and MILF forces.

¶10. (C) Dolorfino commented that the AHJAG is setting its
sights on the methamphetamine trade that now threatens the
moral fiber of Muslim society in Mindanao. According to
Dolorfino, “narco-politics” has been on the rise. At least
seven “drug lords” are currently serving as mayors in Lanao
Del Sur Province alone. The AHJAG’s Core Leadership Group is
planning to begin operations against traffickers in Marawi
City — a location described by Dolorfino as one of the
centers of the drug business. (Further details on the drug
situation in Muslim Mindanao will follow in a separate
message.)

——-

MANILA 00002013 003 OF 004

Comment
——-

¶11. (C) GRP and MILF negotiators have their work cut out to
break the deadlock over the issue of ancestral domain. The
extension/expansion of the IMT and AHJAG — which have been
instrumental in sustaining the ceasefire in Mindanao — bodes
well for the peace process. The cooperative relationships
developed between the AFP/PNP and MILF since the AHJAG was
first activated in January 2005 will be critical for AHJAG
operations against powerful Muslim drug trafficking
syndicates.

———————–
Text of Joint Statement
———————–

¶12. (SBU) The text of the Joint Statement from the 12th
Round of GRP-MILF Exploratory Talks on May 2-4 follows.

Begin text:

The Peace Panels of the Government of the Republic of the
Philippines (GRP) and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front
(MILF) wrapped up the 3-day 12th Round of GRP-MILF
Exploratory Talks in Kuala Lumpur today by declaring
substantive gains in the Ancestral Domain agenda while
acknowledging that more work had to be done on the strand of
territory, particularly in the determination and delimitation
of areas to be placed under a prospective Bangsamoro
Juridical Entity (BJE).

The Panels achieved significant progress in defining the
concept, sharing the resources and establishing governance in
the BJE but were held back from reaching full consensus by
the highly technical nature of discussions on the delineation
and demarcation of territory. For this purpose, they agreed
to conduct further ground validation and collection of
additional data to guide them in the resolution of remaining
items.

The talks were held under an atmosphere of frankness,
cordiality, goodwill marking the commitment of both sides to
uphold and advance the gains already achieved in the
ancestral domain agenda.

The Panels decided to extend the mandate of the AHJAG Interim
Guidelines for a period of one (1) year once its mandate ends
on June 21, 2006.

The Panels committed to move forward the establishment of the
Bangsamoro Leadership and Management Institute (BLMI), which
is envisioned as an agent of change in the social and
political environment of the Bangsamoro people. Both Panels
decided to continue availing of the training programs
organized by the Malaysian Government under the Malaysian
Technical Cooperation Program (MTCP). In this regard, they
will also seek the assistance of the Development Academy of
the Philippines (DAP) to compliment the current Malaysian
capacity-building efforts.

The Panels reached a consensus to immediately activate a
joint advocacy team in order to formulate and undertake a
program of public information aimed at raising broad
awareness of, and support for, the peace process.

The Panels welcomed the entry of the United Nations World
Food Program and other organizations in Mindanao in support
of the peace process prior to the signing of the
comprehensive agreement. The Panels agreed that such a
mission should be done in coordination with the Bangsamoro
Development Agency (BDA).

The Panels expressed their gratitude to Malaysian Prime
Minister Dato Seri Abdullah Bin Haji Ahmad Badawi and to
President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, for their unstinting
support for the Mindanao peace process.

End Text.

Visit Embassy Manila’s Classified SIPRNET website:
http://www.state.sgov.gov/p/eap/manila/index. cfm

MANILA 00002013 004 OF 004

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

Kenney

   

 

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