Oct 232014
 

http://wikileaks.org/cable/2006/12/06MANILA4974.html#

Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
06MANILA4974 2006-12-13 07:24 2011-08-30 01:44 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Manila
VZCZCXRO3573
OO RUEHCHI RUEHDT RUEHHM
DE RUEHML #4974/01 3470724
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
O 130724Z DEC 06
FM AMEMBASSY MANILA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 4249
INFO RUEHZS/ASSOCIATION OF SOUTHEAST ASIAN NATIONS IMMEDIATE
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC IMMEDIATE
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC IMMEDIATE
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC IMMEDIATE
RHHMUNA/CDRUSPACOM HONOLULU HI IMMEDIATE
C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 MANILA 004974

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 12/13/2016
TAGS: PREL PINS KISL MY RP
SUBJECT: TERRITORY REMAINS KEY ISSQ FOR GRP-MILF PEACE TALKS

REF: A. MANILA 4836
¶B. MANILA 4802
¶C. MANILA 4721
¶D. MANILA 4656

Classified By: Pol/C Scott Bellard for reasons 1.4 (b) and (d).

¶1. (C) Summary: Despite a favorable reaction by the Moro
Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) to the Philippine Peace
Panel’s recent offer of self-determination, territory remains
a key issue. MILF negotiators are compiling a new list of
barangays to include in a Bangsamoro Juridical Entity (BJE)
for the next round of exploratory talks in Kuala Lumpur
during January. However, Philippine officials continue to
believe that inclusion of any territory within or outside of
the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) in a BJE will
require a constitutional process, including Congressional
approval and a plebiscite or referendum, both of which remain
unacceptable to the MILF. Moreover, ethnic Tausugs likely
will have trouble accepting any ancestral domain agreement
covering the Sulu Archipelago, at least without a buy-in by
the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF).

—————————
Territory Remains Key Issue
—————————

¶2. (C) Executive Director of the Philippine Peace
Negotiations Panel Secretariat Ryan Sullivan told poloff on
December 11 that territory remains a key issue in the peace
talks, despite a favorable reaction from the MILF to the
Philippine offer of self-determination (ref a). According to
Sullivan, informal discussions between both parties in Kuala
Lumpur ended on December 1, still focusing on the number of
barangays to include in a Bangsamoro Juridical Entity (BJE),
with significant differences of view. Sullivan admitted that
the Philippine offer of some 300 barangays in
Muslim-dominated areas contiguous to the Autonomous Region in
Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) and the granting of ancestral domain
land titles for an additional 300 barangays in non-contiguous
Muslim-dominated areas was still unacceptable to the MILF.

¶3. (C) Sullivan added that, while the MILF agreed to pare
down its list of desired barangays (more than 3,000) before
the 14th Round of Exploratory Talks in Kuala Lumpur in
January 2007, the new list would likely exceed what would be
acceptable to the Philippine Government.

——————-
Continued obstacles
——————-

¶4. (C) Sullivan also reconfirmed that inclusion of the ARMM
and/or any territory outside of the ARMM in a BJE would
require Congressional approval and a plebiscite or
referendum. Gaining a majority vote in both the House and
the Senate to rescind the ARMM Organic Act (Republic Act
9054) and pass enabling legislation for a BJE would depend on
the composition of the new houses of Congress following the
May 2007 elections. He admitted that the Administration
would likely have to undertake “intense lobbying,” a task
made more difficult by the absence of good records on
individual voting patterns within Congress and the Senate.

¶5. (C) Sullivan observed that an eventual peace agreement
that creates a BJE encompassing ethnic Tausugs in the Sulu
Archipelago against their will is likely to unravel. He
commented that the MILF would have to accommodate the
Tausug-dominated MNLF for there to be lasting peace in the
region.

——-
COMMENT
——-

¶6. (C) While the Philippine offer of self-determination to
the MILF appears to have created more space and a slight new
momentum in the peace talks, the deep divide over territory
and constitutional processes remains. Bridging the divide
will still require some major compromises that neither party
— at least at this juncture — is yet willing or able to
make.

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

You can also access this site through the State Department’s
Classified SIPRNET website:

MANILA 00004974 002 OF 002

http://www.state.sgov.gov/

KENNEY

   

 

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