GPH, MILF to create communications roadmap to educate public on the peace process

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DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 9 June) – The government (GPH) and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) will create a single communications roadmap to strengthen the knowledge of the public on the Bangsamoro peace process.

GPH implementing peace panel chair Irene Santiago and MILF implementing peace panel chair Mohagher Iqbal met last Wednesday and Thursday to work on the common communication roadmap for a two-day workshop funded by The Asia Foundation, according to a press statement issued by the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP).

Irene Santiago, chair of the government’s peace implementing panel shows the two-page joint statement she signed with MILF’s peace implementing panel chair Mohagher Iqbal on August 14, 2016 during the launch of the implementation phase of the GPH-MILF peace process in Kuala Lumpur. MindaNews file photo by CAROLYN O. ARGUILLAS

Santiago said it is important that the passage of the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) will get the support of the public in order to start the full implementation of the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro signed by the government with the MILF in 2014.

The five-member coordinating committee of the 21-member Bangsamoro Transition Commission (BTC) will meet again this weekend to finalize the new draft of the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) before its submission to the Office of the President either June 14 or 15.

Members of the coordinating committee are also chairing the five committees of the BTC – Atty. Firdausi Abbas on Security and Justice Committee, Atty. Jose Lorena on Transitory Committee, Atty. Raisa Jajurie on Fiscal Autonomy, Atty. Hussin Amin on Basic Rights, and Mohagher Iqbal on Fiscal Autonomy and as head of the MILF Implementing Peace Panel.

During the Mindanao Hour held Thursday at the Royal Mandaya Hotel here, Santiago said the President is expected to certify the BBL as urgent bill.

She said they are hoping that President Rodrigo R. Duterte will mention during his state of the nation address on July 24 that the bill is a priority bill.

Once the BBL is passed in Congress, it will pave for the creation of a new Bangsamoro entity that will replace the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao.

Iqbal said the roadmap is a “complementation of the implementation” process of the agreed political settlement, describing the plan as a necessary tool to convey both parties’ messages to the public effectively.

During the two-day meeting, Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto Abella said there is need for a healthy public discourse on the Bangsamoro peace process and provide accurate information about the draft BBL when it is submitted to Congress for the public to understand and support it

“The joint communications planning of the government and the MILF is very important so that our messages are aligned,” Abella said.

Abella said President Rodrigo R. Duterte, the first Mindanawon president, is serious in advancing the Bangsamoro peace process.

Duterte has vowed to honor all Bangsamoro peace agreements signed by previous administrations.

The press statement added that the OPAPP created a Peace and Development Roadmap to address the political clamor of the insurgent groups in the country.

Under the government peace roadmap for the Bangsamoro, it is planned that all peace agreements with the Bangsamoro will be harmonized into the BBL.

The GPH has created a separate five-member panel, led by OPAPP undersecretary Nabil Tan, who is negotiating with the faction of Moro National Liberation Front founding chair Nur Misuari. (Antonio L. Colina IV / MindaNews)

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