GPH and MILF panels to meet in KL Saturday

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 10 Aug) – Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process Jesus Dureza said that the government (GPH) and Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) negotiating panels will meet in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia on Saturday (Aug. 13) to open the discussion on the enabling law that will implement the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro (CAB).

He told a press conference Tuesday at the Apo View Hotel Davao that the CAB can still be implemented, even if the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) was not passed in the previous Congress, through the CAB’s existing mechanism that enables the creation of a Bangsamoro Transition Commission who will craft the enabling law.

The 15-member commission will be comprised of eight representatives from the MILF and the seven representatives who will be appointed by the GPH.

“We’d like to see inclusivity with this work, meaning all sectors among the Bangsamoro must be adequately represented or for the opportunity because that makes a lot of difference, the opportunity to make it inclusive for everyone must be made available,” he said.

He said that they will discuss with the MILF panel how they are going to move forward, with the Roadmap for Peace of the Duterte administration that emphasizes on “convergence and inclusivity” of all sectors in the Bangsamoro area.

Dureza said that the representatives from the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) are welcome to attend the August 13 meeting in Kuala Lumpur.

He and Muslimin Sema, who is a leader of one of the MNLF factions, met at the Apo View before the presidential peace adviser faced the media in a press conference in the afternoon where the Moro leader signified the interest to be part of the BTC as among the seven appointees of the government.

He said the first meeting with Sema was just to explore the possibility of resolving the internal faction in the MNLF itself, in which Dureza said “is still work in progress.”

He said that the enabling law will pave the way for the installment of a Bangsamoro Governance Unit.

He said the government and the MILF implementing panels will study if they could expand the 15-member BTC to accommodate other sectors of the Moro, most especially the other faction of the MNLF, headed by its original founder, Nur Misuari.

Dureza said the government has organized its own implementing panel, chaired by Inday Santiago, who will deal with the MILF implementing panel and MNLF’s panel if they would organize their panel “with whom they can deal with.”

“This is part of our continued effort to reach to all key players to work for sustainable peace with the Bangsamoro. We started off with the President approving the so-called Roadmap for Peace, and this will emphasize in the roadmap – convergence and inclusivity among Bangsamoro people,” he said.

Dureza said that President Rodrigo R. Duterte has committed to implement all signed agreements between the MNLF and the MILF, as the negotiation phase with both Moro groups is over and should be in the implementation process.

“This is part of our continued effort to reach to all key players to work for sustainable peace with the Bangsamoro. We started off with the President approving the so-called Roadmap for Peace, and this we will emphasize in the roadmap – convergence and inclusivity among Bangsamoro people,” he said.

Dureza also said that they are hoping that the 42 consensus points that were taken up during the Tripartite review (GPH-MNLF-Organization of Islamic Conference) on the MNLF’s 1996 Peace Agreement will be converged and included in the crafting of the enabling law. (Antonio L. Colina IV / MindaNews)