Nation


MILF wants funds set for Bangsamoro




Posted on February 05, 2013


ZAMBOANGA CITY -- The Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) has called on participants of the ongoing Philippine Development Forum in Davao City to preserve funds intended for the Bangsamoro and not divert these to other areas in Mindanao.

In a statement posted on its Web site www.luwaran.com, the Front yesterday said it wants to avoid past incidents of projects intended for Moro areas that were rechanneled to other communities in Mindanao.

"In previous administrations, the government had sourced millions of dollars intended for conflict-affected areas in Mindanao, which were mainly in Moro-dominated provinces, but when it came to implementation, those were rechanneled to other areas," said Muhammad Ameen, chairman of the MILF secretariat.

The MILF wants to state its policy, he added, in response to "reported growing interests of many states and international aid agencies as well as investors to come to the Bangsamoro and participate in the rehabilitation and development of the new political entity."

"It is time the issue of Bangsamoro should not be dealt through the larger ambit of the Mindanao agenda," Mr. Ameen said.

Murad Ebrahim, chairman of the MILF, was invited as a speaker in the Davao event.

In a separate statement, Budget Secretary Florencio B. Abad, who also attended the event, said the forum is geared towards focusing Mindanao’s development "in view of the Bangsamoro peace framework and the region’s overall growth potential."

The peace deal, called Framework Agreement on the Bangsamoro, was inked in Malacañang last October. Government and Moro peace panels are finalizing key annexes of the deals on wealth and power sharing and decommissioning of rebel forces preparatory to a final peace agreement. -- Darwin T. Wee