Experts say GPH-MILF peace pact a significant achievement in fighting terrorism

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MAKATI (MindaNews/17 May) — International security analysts  and Singapore based geopolitical experts  led by former Ambassador Ong Keng Yong, former Secretary-General of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) lauded the Philippines for the Mindanao peace process that he said would decrease radicalization and entry for ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and Syria) type of groups in the region.

Biveer Sing of S Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS)  told the conference on “Radicalization in East Asia:  Addressing  the Challenges of the Expanding ISIS Influence”   at the Edsa Shangrila on May 15 that the peace accord between government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) is a “significant achievement in fighting terrorism.”

He said Mindanao won’t become a hub with the passage of the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) that would pave the way for the establishment of a Bangsamoro government.

What affects one region affects the other, said Yong.

Southeast Asia is not immune to the influence of the ISIS particularly in the area of movement of personnel and channeling of resources, he said.

But Yong sees the BBL as the settlement of a historic grievance that had fueled radicalism, extremism, and terrorism.

Rep. Rodolfo Biazon (Muntinlupa), a former Armed Forces Chief of Staff, said what they need to resolve in the BLL are the issues on constitutionality.

Biazon was among 185 conference participants.

The BBL will be voted upon this Monday at the Ad Hoc Committee level in Congress.

Cardinal Orlando Quevedo, lead convener of the Friends of Peace in a text message expressed fears the amendments that would remove constitutional bodies in the BBL such as the Human Rights Commission would render the Bangsamoro less autonomous than the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) that it seeks to replace.

Organizers of the Conference on radicalization included the Philippine Center for Islam and Democracy (PCID), Mindanao State University, University of the Philippines Center for Integrative and Development Studies UPCIDS), UP law Center, S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS) of the Nanyang Technological University. (Samira A. Gutoc / MindaNews)

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