Malacañang on Saturday dispelled fears of renewed fighting between government troops and Muslim rebels in Mindanao because of Congress’ failure to pass the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law.
Presidential Communications Undersecretary Manuel Quezon 3rd said that the government believes the Moro Islamic Liberation Front’s (MILF’s) commitment to promote the peace process even after the term of President Benigno Aquino 3rd.
“At this point, I believe it is premature and a cause for undue alarm to speculate on this,” Quezon said in a radio interview.
“What we have is a framework agreement that exists and to which the government is committed,” he added. “I believe that we have seen that in terms of the partners such as the MILF that they are doing their part to maintain their adherence to this and their commitment to this framework agreement.”
Quezon cited the statement of MILF chief negotiator Mohagher Iqbal assuring the United Nations that the separatist group remains committed to peace despite the non-passage of the Bangsamoro Basic Law.
Iqbal said the MILF will continue to engage in peace initiatives despite the security challenges on the ground.
“We welcome this statement and this reassurance from Chairman Iqbal… As you know, the agreement that was signed in Malacañang between the MILF and the administration still stands, and this remains the cornerstone for working forward,” he said.
While Congress was unable to pass the BBL as the Aquino administration had hoped, the public must remember that the commitment on the part of the government persists, the Palace official said.
“Overall I believe all sides are committed to ensuring that the progress we have made this far remains and becomes a durable foundation for the future,” Quezon added.