Disarming of MILF faces difficult hurdles

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A former chief of the Armed Forces of the Philippines on Tuesday raised concerns that clan wars (rido) and private armies are big hurdles that the government must clear to ensure success of the government’s disarming of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF).

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Now Rep. Rodolfo Biazon of Muntinlupa City (Metro Manila), however, clarified, “I am not saying that it [disarming]is impossible but it will be difficult.”

“There’s no quick fix. There are issues of culture, economy and law enforcement. The total [disarming]is dependent on the stance of the MILF and the mainstream Muslim politicians,” Biazon pointed out.

He, however, agreed that the decommissioning of MILF combatants need not be included in the proposed Bangsamoro Bangasamoro Basic Law, which would establish the Bangsa–moro territory by next year.

The decommissioning is provided for under the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro between the government and the MILF.

“We have to give the government and the MILF the flexibility to implement the [disarming]process. It depends on existing situations on the ground, and a lot of other things. You cannot define that by law,” Biazon said.

He called for support for passage of the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law, which he said is crucial to the decommissioning process.

“There is no alternative to passing the Bangsamoro Basic law,” Biazon said in closing.

An International Decommissioning Body, which will be composed of representatives from Brunei Darussalam, Turkey and Norway as well as four local experts, will oversee the process of decommissioning the MILF.

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