Sen. Ferdinand Marcos Jr. on Tuesday welcomed the continuing interest and support of the 57-member Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) for an all-inclusive peace process in Mindanao.
Marcos, chairman of the Senate Committee on Local Government tackling the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL), and Senate President Franklin Drilon met with OIC Secretary-General Iyad bin Amin Madani on Monday during the latter’s courtesy call to the Senate.
Madani has reaffirmed the OIC’s support for the Bangsamoro peace process amid questions raised over the BBL in the aftermath of the Mamasapano incident in January.
“The OIC gesture of interest and support gives us renewed hope for the success of the peace process in Mindanao,” Marcos said.
He added that Madani’s earlier meetings with representatives of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) and the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) in a bid to settle their differences could have a very significant impact on the peace process.
The MILF has signed a peace accord with the government in 2014 that became the basis for the BBL.
But a faction of the MNLF identified with its founder Nur Misuari had rejected the proposed law.
“From the start, I have been saying that unless we involve as many of the stakeholders as possible it would be very difficult to achieve lasting peace in Mindanao. With the help of the OIC, we may be able to hasten this process,” Marcos pointed out.
It was also the OIC that brokered peace talks between the MNLF and the government that resulted in the signing of the 1976 Tripoli Agreement and the eventual establishment of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao.
Ultimately, Marcos said, the fate of the peace process in Mindanao rests in the hands of every Filipino.
“We can only succeed if we can restore lost public confidence in the peace process. That is why it is crucial for both the government and the MILF to show their sincerity in the pursuit of peace in Mindanao,” he added.