• MILF will no longer ‘surrender’ firearms

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    CONGRESS’ failure to pass the controversial Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) means that the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) will no longer “surrender” its firearms in its inventory through “decommissioning” similar to what the group did in June last year, according to Malacañang.

    The statement was issued on Monday, a day after a Palace official announced that they have practically lost all hopes to see the enactment of the measure that aims to replace the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) with a Bangsamoro political entity.

    According to Presidential Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr., Palace peace adviser Teresita Quintos Deles had said that the decommissioning of firearms by the MILF will be held in abeyance pending the passage of the BBL.
    MILF officials previously said that decommissioning is only an “obligation on their part” if the BBL is passed.

    “The political-legal track centered on the passage of the BBL is at the heart of the CAB [Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro]. There is no full implementation of the CAB, specifically, no further decommissioning beyond the first batch of 145-until the law is passed,” the Palace spokesman quoted Deles as saying.

    In June 2015, 75 MILF firearms were turned over to the government while 145 combatants returned to the fold of law.

    The CAB, which was signed in March 2014, provides that the normalization component of the peace pact takes place alongside the political component. The decommissioning of MILF fighters and firearms is part of the normalization component in terms of addressing the security aspect of the former combatants’ allegiance to the republic.

    The CAB also stipulates socio-development programs, confidence-building measures such as the transformation of camps into peaceful communities and the grant of amnesty, and the creation of a reconciliation committee.

    Had the BBL been passed, the next phase of the decommissioning process would have involved the “surrender” of 30 percent of the MILF forces, consisting of firearms and fighters.

    Deles had said their next step is to strengthen mechanisms for smooth transition to the Bang—samoro as the MILF will continue to hold on to their guns.

    “So what we are doing is strengthening the mechanisms for the peaceful transition from the ARMM to the Bangsamoro, which is the core of roadmap for the full settlement of the armed conflict,” she added.

    Under the agreement, the third phase will involve decommissioning 65 percent of the MILF forces once the Bangsamoro Transition Authority (BTA) has been established.

    The fourth and last phase, originally planned to take place after the election of officials of the new Bangsamoro entity, will involve the decommissioning of all MILF forces.

    On Sunday, Coloma yielded to the fact that there is no longer time to pass the BBL under the administration of President Benigno Aquino 3rd.

    This prompted the Palace to recalibrate its tack and prepare for the BBL’s transition to the next administration.

    Executive Secretary Paquito Ochoa Jr., acting on orders of President Aquino, has directed government peace negotiators to craft an action plan with all stakeholders during the “transition period.”

    “The President has directed the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP) to firm up in consultation with stakeholders an action plan for promoting the peace process in the transition period during the remainder of the current administration’s term and up to the assumption of the next administration,” Coloma explained.

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    11 Comments

    1. Samantha Smith on

      With the BBL finally scrapped, the milf has already shared responsibility for the Mamasapano clash and are now paying dearly and they only have themselves to blame

    2. jeff jaramillo on

      Where did these MNLF people get the firearms they said they are going to surrender/turn-over? They did not buy those. They got it from the military they killed and some were purchase thru ransom money!

      Keep those guns, you arrogant MNLF. The military will get it back once we get rid of ABNOY and his boys. and that is not far from now.

      You better enjoy the last minutes of lives. Marwan is dead. And you guys will follow

    3. The MILF is weaker than our country’s police and military in Mindanao so let them have their arms, they have always been the troublemakers and not our country’s police and military. There is always an available solution to their violence that has been around since the 70’s.

    4. Anong klaseng armas naman ang inaasahan ng Malacanang na isusurender ng mga MILF? Iyung mga tira tira noong WWII? Kapalit ng libo libong salapi ng taong bayan? Bukod pa ang pensyon sa mga retiradong MILF. Aba eh mas mataas pa ang pangakong pensyon ng Malacanang sa mga MILF kaysa doon sa mga retiradong gov’t. employees na nagbayad kada suweldo sa SS at GSIS. Ano ang nakapangahihinayang doon?

    5. With Sec.Colon-ma and MILF “spokesperson” Deles echoing the ‘silver spoon in his mouth’ Abnoys sentiment of not getting what he wants…..nag tantrum na naman ang spoiled brat….this is the adminitration of mickey mouse governance…BBL should be all inclusive,,not just for those who have guns

    6. during phil revolution against american, the americans utilize only one tactic – total anihilation and extermination of revolutionaries. they take no prisoners, burn villages, destroy foodstuff and most of all no negotiations. When Apolinario Mabini proposed a cease fire sometime late April of 1899 in order to negotiate terms, the American respond is very simple – lay down arms first before negotiations commence. The American Commander at that time quoted “if neccessity demands to exterminate half of the population just to bring order to the other half then it must be done. An american General once said “to have peace there should be a war. These Muslims never in their wildest dreams/lives consider themselves as Filipnos. the only way that the Phil Gov’t achieve peace in Mindanao is to emulate the tactics employed by the americans against our ancestors more than 100 yrs ago. If the Gov’t has no balls to do that, then the only option is to give them their independence.

    7. Do you really believe the MILF will surrender all their arms if BBL pass? I do not believe that they are truthful because in Mindanao, firearms are necessary to stay alive because they also kill each other. President Joseph Estrada statements said that these people cannot be trusted. I believe him because they are a bunch of terrorist. That is their culture.

    8. So many islands to handle but there should only one common law to govern all of these islands. It is imperative that the Government put emphasize on reaching out all of these islands.

    9. With this decision it only exposes the MILF as a trouble-making group. This gesture is even considered a threat to the PHilippines.