(KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia) President Benigno S. Aquino III greets Malaysian Prime Minister Dato' Sri Haji Mohammad Najib bin Tun Haji Abdul Razak upon arrival for the Meeting at the Perdana Putra Building in Putrajaya on Friday (February 28) during his State Visit to Malaysia. President Aquino and PM Najib are expected to discuss the upcoming signing of the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro. (MNS photo)

(KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia) President Benigno S. Aquino III greets Malaysian Prime Minister Dato’ Sri Haji Mohammad Najib bin Tun Haji Abdul Razak upon arrival for the Meeting at the Perdana Putra Building in Putrajaya on Friday (February 28) during his State Visit to Malaysia. President Aquino and PM Najib are expected to discuss the upcoming signing of the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro. (MNS photo)

MANILA (Mabuhay) – The negotiating panels of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) will meet in Malaysia before the month ends to set parameters for the decommissioning of firearms of MILF combatants.

In a chance interview on the sidelines of a forum on the draft Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL), government peace panel chair Miriam Coronel-Ferrer said members of both panels are set to meet in Kuala Lumpur from September 27 to 29 “to pull everything together.”

Part of the agenda for the three-day meeting is the finalization of the composition of the Transitional Justice and Reconciliation Commission (TJRC) as well as the International Decommissioning Body (IDB), Ferrer said.

She said they aim to establish these bodies within the month.

Under the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro (CAB) signed by the government and the MILF last March, the TJRC is tasked “to study and recommend the appropriate mechanisms to address legitimate grievances of the Bangsamoro people, correct historical injustices, and address human rights violations through land dispossession.”

Experts

Meanwhile, the IDB, to be composed of three foreign experts and four Filipinos, will validate the inventory of weapons and combatants that the MILF will submit.

Ferrer said they have already invited experts from Brunei, Turkey and Norway in the meeting in Kuala Lumpur.

Doon na natin sa Kuala Lumpur ifa-finalize who will be members of the IDB,” she said. “But the most important thing, the first order of business, is for the MILF to produce a list of weapons and combatants and submit it to the IDB.”

Meanwhile, MILF peace panel chair Mohagher Iqbal said they already have a list of firearms and names of combatants ready for submission to the IDB, but refused to give figures.

He, however, said that “the firearms are combinations of high-powered and light-powered.”

Iqbal said the government peace panel also has its own tally of the MILF firearms to be compared with the list that the MILF will submit.

He said the government has listed 7,500 firearms owned by MILF combatants.

“We have our own figure but I cannot disclose right now,” Iqbal said, adding that before the end of the year, the MILF will have a symbolic turnover of 75 high-powered firearms to the IDB. (MNS)