Advertisement

MILF, gov’t start preparations for normalization track of peace deal

Font Size

PCOO.GOV.PH

DAVAO CITY — The government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) have started preparing for the normalization track of the peace agreement, particularly the integration of armed MILF members back into their communities.

In a press statement Thursday, Deputy Presidential Peace Adviser Nabil A. Tan said following the signing of the Bangsamoro Organic Law (BOL), representatives of all groups involved in the peace mechanisms, including non-government institutions, have met to prepare the normalization process, a key component of the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro (CAB).

The CAB, signed in March 2014, is the final peace agreement between the government and the MILF. It serves as the foundation for the BOL, which will create a new political entity that will replace the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao.

“This is also the first time that we are meeting all the mechanisms together, both the ceasefire mechanisms and the normalization process mechanisms which include the socioeconomic component and this security component, among others,” said Mr. Tan, who is also the government panel chair for the Bangsamoro accords.

The normalization process and the ceasefire mechanisms are being implemented by the International Monitoring Team, Coordinating Committee on the Cessation of Hostilities, Ad Hoc Joint Action Group, and several other bodies under the CAB Annex on Normalization.

The ceasefire mechanisms were agreed upon during the early stages of the peace negotiations as part confidence-building while talks were ongoing. The initial ceremonial decommissioning activity was held in June 2015.

“The preparations for the normalization are complex; security concerns are serious matters. We also have the bigger audience to address and showcase that in this partnership, we can maintain our peaceful co-existence on the ground,” Mr. Tan said.

He pointed out that one major challenge in the implementation of the socioeconomic components “is not just to identify the socioeconomic packages for our former combatants and communities but also deliver these in a timely manner, and sustain their transformation into productive civilian lives.”

MILF Implementing Panel Chair Mohagher Iqbal, for his part, said both the government and the former revolutionary group recognize that the implementation of the BOL could prove tougher than getting the law in place.

“Implementation is more difficult than the theoretical side of it. We need to be very creative. There are situations on the ground that we haven’t foreseen which we need to navigate,” said Mr. Iqbal, who served as the chief negotiator of the rebel movement. — Carmelito Q. Francisco





Advertisement