Manila and MILF to sign deal

PETALING JAYA - After 13 years of talks, which nearly broke down at one point, the final agreement of the Malaysia-brokered peace deal for the southern Philippines is ready.

The Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro (CAB) will be signed between the Philippine government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), with Malaysia being the official witness at the ceremony.

"Everything is ready and waiting to be signed either later this month or in March," said a source with direct knowledge of the matter.

As the facilitator to the peace process, Malaysia had hosted 43 rounds of talks since 2001 to help both parties end one of the world's longest-running insurgencies that had claimed more than 100,000 lives over the past four decades.