Lawmakers favor amnesty to MILF members

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Lawmakers are in favor of granting amnesty to the members of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) who have pending or have been convicted of rebellion and other rebellion-related charges.

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Party-list Reps. Sitti Hataman of Anak Mindanao and Sherwin Tugna of Citizens’ Battle Against Corruption were referring to a provision of the normalization annex of the peace pact between the Philippine government and the MILF in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia which was inked over the weekend.

“It [amnesty]is a necessary provision under any peace agreement. We trust the normalization annex is consistent with international policies and practices,” Hataman, the wife of Governor Mujiv Hataman of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, said in a text message.

“We still have to review the normalization annex, but the deactivation and disarmament of forces will go through a process agreeable between the two parties. We have to understand the cultural perspective on the issue of arms,” Hataman added.

Tugna, for his part, also sees amnesty as a must in the peace process and that arms reduction is eventually in the offing for the MILF.

“I am in favor of it because it because that is one of the conditions to achieve peace in Mindanao which we have long yearned for,” Tugna said in separate text message.

“The MILF will now be ceasing to establish a separate sovereignty, They have to give up all the arms of their Armed Forces to the national government and expect a return of a portion of these arms as their supply of armory for the new Bangsamoro territory,” Tugna argued.

“If MILF are in good faith and there will be peace, there is no need for them to have and be in possession of their current large number of firearms,” Tugna added.

The normalization annex is the last of the four annexes under the Peace Agreement Framework between the government and the MILF. The other annexes previously sealed between the two parties are power sharing, wealth sharing and transitional modalities. LLANESCA T. PANTI

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