The central committee of the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) and the top brass of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) have concurred that all agreements signed with the Government of the Philippines (GPH) will be consolidated and signed under one peace agreement as decided in the recently concluded Bangsamoro Coordination Forum (BCF) held in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.
Muslimin Sema, chairman of the MNLF Bangsamoro Peoples Congress, told The Manila Times that both the MNLF and MILF harmoniously arrived at the decision to consolidate all the documents from the GPH-MNLF September 2, 1996 peace agreement, the GPH-MILF Framework Agreement (FAB), the Comprehensive Agreement on Bangsamoro (CAB) and the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) to be signed only under one agreement.
Sema said the BCF meeting arrived at a decision to craft a law that will signify one unified legislative proposal for the GPH to decide a just and fair solution for the Bangsamoro people in Mindanao.
Organization of Islamic Cooperation secretary-general Yousef Al-Othaimeen, invited the two Bangsamoro factions to come up with one decision reconciling all agreements they signed with the GPH.
MNLF founding chairman Nur Misuari was unable to attend the BCF meeting in Jeddah pending approval of his petition for the extension of his temporary pass in connection with the rebellion case he is facing. But Misuari reportedly does not recognize the agreements forged by the MILF signed with the administration of former president Benigno Aquino 3rd.
Sema said Misuari only recognizes the September 2, 1996 agreement, insisting on an independent Islamic state rather than consolidating the peace pact into one decision.
He added that Misuari wanted to keep his position as MNLF chairman but the front’s central committee agreed they would adhere to the charter policy under which Hatimil Hassan was elected replacing Misuari in 2005. In 2008, Sema became the second MNLF chairman with Yusoph Jikiri replacing him in 2012 up to the present.
Sema also said that the peace and development agenda which the government aims to consolidate is the 1996 Final Peace Agreement and the CAB with enabling law that will include 42 consensus points as agreed upon by the MNLF, MILF, government and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC).
The Philippine government had signed peace agreements with the two Moro revolutionary fronts: the 1996 Final Peace Agreement (FPA) which is a continuation of the 1976 Tripoli Agreement and the 2014 Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro (CAB), from the 2012 Framework Agreement on the Bangsamoro (FAB)
The MILF and MNLF faction under Jikiri, are now working together in crafting the draft Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) under the Bangsamoro Transition Commission.
The OIC which brokered the 1976 and 1996 peace agreements maintained that the 1976 Tripoli Agreement and the 1996 Final Peace Agreement (FPA) “continue to formulate the basis of any settlement of the conflict.”
The OIC facilitated the talks between the Philippine government (GPH) and the MNLF which has an observer status in the OIC since 1977.
The MNLF-Misuari faction seeks to amend RA 9054, while the MILF-MNLF under Jikiri are working under the BTC to draft a law that would pave the way for a new autonomous political entity named Bangsamoro, to replace the ARMM.