World leaders to attend signing of MILF peace pact

5

World leaders and officials of various international organizations are expected to attend the signing of the comprehensive peace agreement between the Philippine government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) on March 27.

Advertisements

Miriam Ferrer, chairman of the government peace panel, made the announcement over state-run Radyo ng Bayan on Saturday.

“Aside from Malaysia’s Foreign Minister, we have also sent invitations to the United
Kingdom and Japan who have been a part of the ICG (International Crisis Group), representatives from the government of Turkey and Saudi Arabia and the Secretary General of the Organization of Islamic Conference, among others,” Ferrer said.

Malaysia brokered the peace process between the Philippine government and the MILF.

The ICG, on the other hand, is composed of countries and nongovernment organizations tasked to prevent conflicts.

“The international nongovernment organizations such as the World Bank, United Nations Development Program, as well as MILF supporters and civil society units are also expected to attend as they have been a part of this process,” Ferrer added.

She said consultations are ongoing in Lanao del Norte and Lanao del Sur provinces to make sure the Bangsamoro Basic Law that will be submitted to Congress will reflect the sentiments of the people on the ground.

The government is hopeful that the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) will also support the agreement since officials have been in constant communication with the Top 90 or the MNLF founding members.

The MILF is a breakaway group of the MNLF.

With the imminent signing of the comprehensive peace deal, Ferrer said the Transition Commission will be able to speed up the drafting of the Bangsamoro Basic Law so that the measure will be approved by Congress before President Benigno Aquino 3rd delivers his fifth State of the Nation Address in July.

“We hope that this will be approved during the first half of the year because this is about good governance, instituting reforms, establishing schools, building roads, health centers, so that armed struggle won’t be enticing anymore because development is finally here,” she pointed out.

Once the Bangsamoro Basic Law is approved by Congress, it will be signed into law by the President.

A plebiscite will then be held to determine the provinces that will compose the Bangsamoro Region, which will replace the existing Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao.

More support

Meanwhile, the MILF and members of the Bangsamoro Transition Commission (BTC) acknowledged the increasing support from Mindanaoans to the peace process.

Mohagher Iqbal, MILF chief negotiator and head of the BTC, said Maguindanao residents, local leaders and the MNLF commanders have shown “tremendous” support to the MILF.

The BTC was tasked to reach out to political, religious and community leaders and various groups and other sectors to invite their participation in drafting the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL).

Iqbal said they enlisted the support of the provinces of North Cotabato, Maguindanao, Sulu, Tawi-Tawi, Basilan, Lanao del Sur, and cities of Cotabato, Marawi, Lamitan and Zamboanga.

“The general reception was tremendous, but the most tremendous support was lent by Lanao del Sur and here in Maguindanao,” Iqbal told more than 250 multi-stakeholders in Maguindanao.

On March 11, more than 60,000 people attended a consultative forum in Marawi City and Lanao del Sur with 37 government officials led by Gov. Mamintal “Bombit” Adiong Jr. and 32 members of the MNLF’s “top 90” combatants.

On Thursday, another consultative meeting was held in Maguindanao.

In his speech, Iqbal said “these are signs of expressions that people including leaders are very supportive in the current [GPH-MILF] peace process.”

Maguindanao Gov. Esmael “Toto” Mangudadatu proposed to the BTC the “possible inclusion” of Maguindanao’s eight-point agenda.

The 8-point agenda includes restoration of peace and order; transparent, accountable and participative governance; poverty reduction; infrastructure development; parallel support to Madaris and secular education, accessible quality health services; environment management program; and revenue generations.

The BTC has until March 31 to finish the draft of the Bangsamoro law.

Iqbal appealed to all concerned groups to support the peace process.

“The only option now is peace, there is no option for war and war is the mother of poverty,” he said.

Share.
loading...
Loading...

Please follow our commenting guidelines.

5 Comments

  1. Rosauro Feliciano on

    Why Ms Miriam Ferer has limited the invitation to only few countries? We want Indonesia to be invited as well. Indonesia is very close to the hearts of the people of Mindanao and Sulu.

  2. We had lost Sabah to Malaysia. We are now losing Mindanao to our Muslim brother who are loyal to the World Islam organization. Soon we will be losing our sovereignty with the military bases occupied by foreign country. What’s wrong with our leaders in the gov’t? Do they know only how to steal from the people & its nation?

  3. May the land of promise finally be fulfilled for the Island of Mindanao for all Filipinos to see and enjoy in peace and harmony, helping each other for a better Philippines. May God bless us all.