Nation


MILF, OIC discuss peace efforts




Posted on May 19, 2014


ZAMBOANGA CITY -- Leaders of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) met with Iyad bin Amin Madani, the new secretary-general of the influential Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) to discuss harmonization of the two southern peace pacts and unite the various factions among Moro fronts.

In an article posted on www.luwaran.net, the official publication of the MILF, it said the meeting focused on the issue on how the recent peace agreement would work with the previous peace agreement that the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) has signed with the Philippine government in 1996.

“The main concern of the OIC leader is how to connect the MNLF Final Peace Agreement with the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro (CAB), which was signed between the MILF and the government in Manila on March 27,” the statement said.

MILF Chairman Al Haj Murad Ebrahim presented seven points, most of which are the key points of the agreement it signed with the Philippine government.

“(Mr. Murad) explained that the 42 consensus points agreed in MNLF peace negotiation were already subsumed in the CAB, while the three remaining issues, which the MNLF claimed to have been not implemented (provisional government, wealth-sharing arrangement, and plebiscite for the entire 13 provinces and five cities) are also part of the CAB,” the statement said.

The 42 consensus points are among the several conclusions in the tripartite review process between the Philippine government, OIC and the MNLF.

The supposed consensus points were to amend Republic Act 9054, which created the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM).

The revision did not push through as this was opposed by former MNLF chairman Nur Misuari at the last minute for unknown reason.

Mr. Misuari is now a fugitive after he led his men to attack coastal villages in this city that triggered an intense three-week armed hostilities in September last year.

OFFICIAL OBSERVER
Mr. Murad urged the OIC during the meeting to accredit the “Bangsamoro as the official observer to the Organization of Islamic Cooperation instead of the MNLF since the MNLF at this point in time does not represent the interest of the entire Muslims in southern Philippines.”

“(Mr. Murad) explained that the Bangsamoro is already recognized as the national identity of the native inhabitants of Mindanao and the islands,” the statement said.

“Representation to the OIC meetings or conferences can be agreed upon in the Bangsamoro Coordinating Forum or may be chosen by the Office of the Secretary General from nominees of the Bangsamoro Coordinating Forum,” the statement further explained.

At present, the OIC recognizes the MNLF as the sole representative of the Muslim Filipinos in the conference. -- Albert F. Arcilla