GPH, MILF commit to sustain gains of the 4-year-old CAB

Published March 27, 2018, 3:57 PM

by AJ Siytangco

 

By Francis Wakefield

The Government of the Philippines (GPH) and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) affirmed their commitment to pursue the milestones gained since the signing of the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro (CAB) during the celebration of the peace agreement’s 4th anniversary in Pasig City, on Monday.

In his remarks, Deputy Presidential Peace Adviser Undersecretary Nabil Tan commended both parties for continuing the legacy of CAB through strengthened partnership for four years.

(OPAPP / MANILA BULLETIN)
Deputy Presidential Peace Adviser Undersecretary Nabil Tan (OPAPP / MANILA BULLETIN)

“The Bangsamoro Basic Law is not just a part of the implementation of the CAB but is meant to address the commitment of the government with the MILF and the Bangsamoro people. The milestones of the peace process are a reminder of how far we’ve come after the signing of CAB in 2014,” Tan said.

The CAB is the political settlement between the government and the MILF that signaled the end of 17 years of intensive negotiation and started the normalization phase toward achieving peace in this war-torn part of the country.

Since its conception, CAB has been instrumental in maintaining a peaceful relationship with the Moro rebels, with socioeconomic programs and security mechanisms put in place to ensure former combatants can get back to their normal civilian lives.

In a landmark event in the Bangsamoro Peace Process, 75 high-powered and crew-served weapons from 145 MILF combatants were ceremoniously turned over to the Independent Decommissioning Body (IDB) on June 16, 2015.

Another landmark in the cooperation between both parties was the creation of the Peace Corridor during the Marawi siege, paving the way for the retrieval of 255 civilians trapped in the war zone and allowing access of humanitarian aid to the displaced civilians.

In his message during the celebration, MILF Implementing Panel chairman Mohagher Iqbal urged both parties to continue banking on the gains of peace process, asking the stakeholders to continue supporting the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law.

“The CAB, BBL and the comprehensive peace process are not for the benefit of the MILF but about addressing the historical injustices suffered by the Bangsamoro communities. The peace process hopes to achieve the contribution to the prosperity and resilience in Mindanao such as job opportunities for the youth, education for our children, infrastructures, incomes for home-grown businesses, and delivery of primary services especially to conflict-affected areas.” he said.

The proposed BBL is a legal document which will operationalize the final peace agreement with the MILF. The Senate and House of Representatives are expected to pass the law in May.

“This long-awaited legislation (BBL) will serve as the core of a regional government, one that is stronger than ARMM,” ANAK Mindanao Partylist Rep. Amhilda Sangcopan said during the celebration.

“ANAK Mindanao believes that the true spirit of law-making is drafting the laws that address the needs and aspirations of the most-pressing interests of the Bangsamoro people,” she added.

 
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