Friday, March 11, 2016

IMT to Bangsamoro: No BBL is not end of process

From the Website of MILF

IMT to Bangsamoro: No BBL is not end of process

Trying to comfort the Bangsamoro people from frustration brought by the Philippine Congress’ failure to pass the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL), a member of the International Monitoring Team (IMT) said the non-passage of the measure does not mean the end of everything and stressed “It is not the end of the peace process.”
“We, the International Monitoring Team (IMT), really recognized that the peace process between the Government of the Philippines (GPH) and the MILF (Moro Islamic Liberation Front) now is experiencing difficult situation after the non-passage of the BBL,” Col. Elphis Rudy, IMT Team Site 4 leader, said in his written message, read by his colleague, for the participants of a Provincial Assembly on Peace and Security.

Held in Malapatan, Sarangani Province on March 6, 2016, the activity was organized by the United Bangsamoro Justice for Peace (UBJP) – Sarangani.

Mohagher Iqbal, chairman of both the Bangsamoro Transition Commission (BTC) and MILF Peace Panel, graced the event to give updates on the peace process.
Col. Rudy commended the MILF on its decision to stay in the course of the peace process despite the BBL’s non-passage.

In an official statement issued on February 18, the MILF expressed its deep disappointment and grave dismay over the fate of the proposed legislation, however it committed to remain persevere in upholding the peace process.

“The non-passage of BBL doesn’t mean the end of unwavering efforts to achieve long lasting peace,” the peace monitor added.

He noted the major achievements and positive developments in the peace process such as the ceasefire mechanism that continued to work smoothly.

“This very appreciated MILF’s gesture is in line with the Government’s stance, as GPH Peace Panel Miriam Coronel-Ferrer declared, ‘that the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro (CAB) still binds the government and the MILF to their respective obligations’,” Col. Rudy said.

He believes that the MILF’s firm commitment to the peace process and sustaining the ceasefire mechanisms to prevent future violent encounters between forces of the state and Moro group is very important.

Chairman Iqbal said despite the frustration and anger among the Bangsamoro people after the lawmakers failed to pass the BBL last month, the best option is still to continue the peace process. 

He told the audience the commitment of international community like Malaysia, Japan and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation to continue in supporting the peaceful resolve to Bangsamoro issue.

At present, the IMT is composed of contingents from Malaysia, Indonesia, Brunei, Japan and Norway whose main task is to monitor the implementation of the ceasefire truce between the GPH and MILF.

In 1997, the government and the MILF had agreed to uphold ceasefire while the peace negotiation is on-going.

The two parties signed the CAB on March 27, 2014 which culminated the peace negotiation. Under the peace agreement, it is the sole obligation of the government to pass the BBL.







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