PEACETALK: “We firmly continue to uphold the primacy of the peace process”

(Message of solidarity and unity to the Bangsamoro people, the Filipino people, and Muslim Ummah on the occasion of the celebration of Eidul Adzha 2016/1437 by Moro Islamic Liberation Front chair Al Haj Murad Ebrahim)

The leadership of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) once again conveys its greetings and felicitations to the Bangsamoro people, the Filipino people and the entire Muslim Ummah on the occasion of this year’s celebration of Eidul Adzha.

Eidul Adzha is a yearly feast of the Muslim Ummah which takes place on the 10th of Zhul-Hijjah of Hijra calendar on the culmination of the annual HAJJ (Pilgrimate) at Makkah Al-Mukarramah and Madinah Al-Monawwarah, Kingdoom of Saudi Arabia. It reminds every Muslim of the great sacrifice of Prophet Ibrahim (AS) when he solemnly offered for qurban his son Prophet Ismael (AS) in obedience and compliance to Allah (SWT) injunction in order to gain His pleasure.

Today, as we merrily celebrate Eidul Adzha, we must be conscious of the challenges we are facing now after the non-passage of the BBL (Bangsamoro Basic Law) during the past Philippine Administration. As we are now formally engaged with the Administration of President Rodrigo Duterte in order to move forward with the GPH-MILF peace process, let us be united as one Bangsamoro people duly equipped with firm determination and unflinching commitment to attain our inalienable rights to self-determination and freedom, lnshaAllah.

ln order to sustain and preserve the gains of the peace process, the leadership of the MILF and all its agencies are altogether engaging efforts with the international community to sustain and possibly strengthen further their support to the peace process. We started with Malaysia, the facilitating country, and then we moved on to the International Contact Group (ICG) and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OlC) through the General Secretariat. We are continuing our engagement with all United Nations Agencies, world organizations and the European union (EU). On the same vein, we likewise welcome the continuing commitment of support of the GPH-MILF Peace Process.
Last July 21, 2016, Secretary Jesus Dureza of OPAPP visited Camp Darapanan to present and discuss with the MILF Leadership their proposed Roadmap to move forward with the GPH-MILF peace process. He made the assurance that all signed agreements between the GPH and MILF will be implemented and the BBL will be passed into law as template to federalism as promised by the President during his visit to Darapanan and in his other campaign sorties. It was agreed also in the meeting that since negotiation is already concluded after the signing of the FAB and CAB, the Negotiating Peace Panel will focus on the implementation process and will be renamed Implementing Peace Panel (IPP).

The start of the formal engagement of the MILF and the new GPH Administration and their respective Implementing Panels was launched on August 13-14 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia attended by high delegation of the GPH headed by Secretary Jesus Dureza of OPAPP, House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez, other major cabinet secretaries, local government officials including ARMM Governor Mujiv Hataman. The host country was represented by Deputy Minister of Defense Dato’ Sri Mohd Johari Bin Baharum as proxy of His Excellency Dato’ Sri Mohd Najib Bin Tun Haji Abdul Razak. Myself and the MILF delegation were present during this historic event witnessed by the different stakeholders composing the global partners for peace. The members of the GPH and MILF Implementing Panels were introduced during this formal launch.

The Parties agreed to the substantive aspects of the peace and development roadmap. To ensure inclusivity of the implementation of the GPH-MILF Peace Agreement, the parties agreed to increase the membership of the Bangsamoro Transition Commission (BTC) with eleven (11) members to be nominated by the MILF and ten (10) by the GPH.

Issuance of revised Executive Order was recommended for this purpose to jumpstart drafting the CAB-compliant new Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL). The Parties committed to work collaboratively and cooperatively to ensure effective and inclusive implementation of the GPH-MILF signed agreements. Commitment to sustain trust and confidence between the GPH and MILF through continued implementation of deliverables under the Program for Normalization, including the Bangsamoro Normalization Trust Fund and was agreed upon.

Meanwhile, let me emphasize and exhort again all officers, commanders and members of the MILF Political Wing and the Bangsamoro Islamic Armed Forces (BIAF) to continue upholding our earlier directive to strictly abide by the instructions and guidelines of the MILF Central Committee. We firmly continue to uphold the primacy of the peace process and our consolidation and capability programs while on the other hand maintaining our vigilance and perseverance towards any future eventuality.

Finally, fellow mujahideen and Bangsamoro, may Almighty Allah (SWT) guide and bless us always in all our undertakings and endeavors throughout the years to come.
Blessed and Eidul Adzha Al-Mubarak to everyone. “Kullo aamin wa antum bi khayr.”

Wassalamu alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh!

Your brother in Islam and humanity.