CONTINUING PEACE PROCESS. Office of the Presidential Adviser on Peace, Reconciliation, and Unity Undersecretary David Diciano (left) and Moro Islamic Liberation Front Peace Implementing Panel chairperson Mohagher Iqbal sign a mutual commitment for the continuing Mindanao peace process in Manila on June 3, 2022. Among others, the agreement includes dialogues on the remaining issues on the implementation of the normalization process to ensure inclusive solutions for the interest and welfare of the Bangsamoro. (Photo courtesy of OPAPRU)

MANILA – The implementing panels of the Government of the Philippines (GPH) and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) renewed their mutual commitment to continue pushing for a comprehensive Philippine peace process.

In a joint statement released Monday, the GPH and MILF agreed on the following resolutions and action points, bearing in mind continuity, stability, and sustainability of the peace dividends and in view of the developments in the Bangsamoro peace process:

1.    The GPH Panel shall communicate to the MILF panel the proposal of the GPH for the transition of the International Monitoring Team (IMT) for the immediate resolution of the IMT’s status;
2.    The panels shall continue to discuss the socioeconomic packages for decommissioned combatants;
3.    The panels agree to reconstitute the Working Group for Vulnerable Sectors, which was created by the GPH and MILF Peace Negotiating Panels in 2016, and to direct the Working Group to submit its formal report;
4.    The Study Group shall submit its report on the Small Arms and Light Weapons program for other MILF weapons to the Joint Normalization Committee (JNC), and the JNC shall submit its report to the Panels;
5.    The MILF panel shall study the GPH panel proposal on the involvement of the Bangsamoro Government, particularly the Ministry of Public Order and Safety in the disbandment of private armed groups;
6.    The panels agree to include humanitarian reasons in the qualifications for the issuance of safe conduct passes to MILF personalities, pending the effectivity of the amnesty process, but the GPH panel shall decide on a case-to-case basis the qualification for humanitarian reasons;
7.    The panels agree to create a technical working group (TWG) for the police force for the Bangsamoro that will make recommendations including the drafting of executive issuances;
8.    The panels advise the joint TWG on Transitional Justice and Reconciliation (TJR) to also invite international experts to provide advice on the crafting of the TJR roadmap;
9.    MILF panel to study and come up with inputs and comments to the draft declaration of continuity on or before 6 June 2022; and;
10.    On the invitation of the Third-Party Facilitator, the parties consider holding a special meeting in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia before the end of the current administration. However, in case of exigencies, the parties may invite the Third-Party Facilitator to hold the meeting in Manila.

Also in the statement finalized on June 3 is the mutual commitment of both parties to pursue dialogues, through a problem-solving approach, on the remaining issues on the implementation of the normalization process to ensure inclusive solutions for the interest and welfare of the Bangsamoro.

“The parties firmly commit that the path to peace and the continued implementation of the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro (CAB) and BOL (Bangsamoro Organic Law) remain the only viable solution in achieving durable peace and development in the Bangsamoro,” read the agreement.

The government and the MILF acknowledged their responsibilities in partnering with each other “with earnest optimism and commitment to faithfully implement the peace agreement”.

Both parties lauded President Rodrigo Duterte’s strong leadership and for pushing for a just and lasting peace in Mindanao, ratification of the BOL, and establishment of the Bangsamoro government.

They also thanked the Office of the Presidential Adviser on Peace, Reconciliation, and Unity (OPAPRU) Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr. and members of the MILF leadership under its chair and now Interim Chief Minister of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) government, Ahod Ebrahim, for their unwavering commitment to pursue the implementation of the CAB and BOL; Intergovernmental Relations Body and the Inter-Cabinet Cluster Mechanism on Normalization for their steadfast support towards achieving peace and development in the Bangsamoro; and members of different peace process mechanisms for their perseverance and invaluable contribution to the Bangsamoro peace process despite the challenges brought by the pandemic.

The joint statement was signed by OPAPRU Undersecretary David Diciano and MILF Peace Implementing Panel chairperson Mohagher Iqbal. (PNA)