Philippines gov't, MILF reach agreement in peace meet

Peace-implementing panels agree to expand body tasked with drafting new autonomy law on Muslim south under peace deal

Philippines gov't, MILF reach agreement in peace meet

World Bulletin / News Desk

The Philippines’ government and one-time largest Moro rebel group have agreed on expanding a body tasked with drafting a new autonomy law on the country's Muslim south, following the relaunch of their peace deal during a weekend meeting.

The peace-implementing panels of the government and the Moro Islamic Liberation (MILF) said in a joint statement Monday that the transition commission would be expanded to 21 members to ensure inclusivity in the implementation of their 2014 peace deal.

The Comprehensive Agreement on Bangsamoro, signed in March 2014 after 17 years of negotiations, would have been sealed by the Bangsamoro Basic Law, which was supposed to have paved the way for the creation of the Bangsamoro, a new autonomous political entity that would replace the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao.

The law, however, stalled in Congress earlier this year, as it adjourned for campaigning for the May 9 polls won by Rodrigo Duterte, who became the first Philippine president from the troubled southern island of Mindanao.

According to Monday’s statement, the government and MILF negotiators “agreed on the substantive aspects of the peace and development roadmap” during their weekend gathering in the Malaysian capital Kuala Lumpur.

“To ensure inclusivity in the implementation of the GPH-MILF Peace Agreement, the Parties agreed to increase the membership of the Bangsamoro Transition Commission (BTC), with 11 members to be nominated by the MILF and 10 by the GPH [Government of the Philippines],” it said.

 The panels said they opened the meeting cordially and with enthusiasm “to pursue approaches in forging a just and enduring peace” and expressed commitment to work collaboratively and cooperatively -- including meeting regularly in the Philippines-- to ensure efficient and inclusive implementation of the signed agreements.

“The Parties committed to sustain trust and confidence between the GPH and the MILF through continued implementation of deliverables under the Program for Normalization, including the Bangsamoro Normalization Trust Fund," the statement added.

Last month, Duterte approved a peace roadmap presented by new presidential adviser on the peace process Jesus Dureza.

Under this roadmap, work on the new proposed Bangsamoro law “will be done simultaneous with the moves to shift to a federal set-up, the latter expected to come later under the planned timeline”.

Duterte has vowed to correct the historical injustices committed against the Muslim Moro and other indigenous peoples, proposing to amend the country’s constitution to grant regions more federal autonomy. 

Moro Islamic Liberation (MILF)peace dealPhilippines

Güncelleme Tarihi: 15 Ağustos 2016, 10:13
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