OIC backs 1996 MNLF peace pact, BBL
(The Philippine Star) - January 24, 2016 - 9:00am

DAVAO CITY, Philippines – The Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) is supporting the two peace deals forged by the Philippine government with the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF).

The OIC said there is no conflict between the ongoing tripartite review of the MNLF’s 1996 peace agreement and the BBL of the MILF, which is still pending approval in Congress.

The government and the MNLF along with the OIC has conducted a tripartite review on the implementation of the provisions of the 1996 peace accord. 

OIC Secretary General Iyad Ameen Madani of the Jeddah-based OIC earlier said the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro (CAB) forged with the MILF is seen as a first step toward the fulfillment of the 1976 Tripoli and the 1996 Jakarta Agreements,

“Allow me to reaffirm our support to the efforts of the Philippine nation in the cause of peace and we remain committed to seeing a just and lasting solution that will benefit all the people of the Philippines,” Madani said in separate letters to Senate President Franklin Drilon and Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr. 

The House of Representatives has set the voting on the passage of the BBL on Wednesday, where it only has today and tomorrow to finish the deliberations and period of amendments. 

The Senate, meanwhile, has yet to discuss the BBL since it returned to work from the holiday break. 

But the Senate would be busy with the scheduled reopening of its probe on the Mamasapano incident, also on Wednesday.

The Ministerial Meeting on the Tripartite Review Process has been scheduled today until tomorrow in Jeddah as it will reportedly be attended by top government officials and representatives of the factions of the MNLF.

It is expected that the Tripartite Review process, when finished, will provide for a harmonized Bangsamoro peace process roadmap. This will become more evident if the MNLF decides to participate in the Bangsamoro Transition Authority (BTA), the interim government that will bridge the transition from the current Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) to the proposed Bangsamoro parliamentary government.

Focusing on the legislative process of the BBL, Madani expressed grave concerns about the delay and the perceived watering down of the bill.

“The OIC urges the Philippine authorities, in particular the lawmakers, who share the common goal at working for peace and stability not to let this historical moment become another lost opportunity,” Madani said.

Madani added the BBL that will be passed must “ensure the ‘concept of exclusivity of the powers of the Bangsamoro political entity’ as agreed upon in the CAB.”

The OIC stressed it would continue efforts to find peace in the south.

“The OIC will continue its efforts for peace in Mindanao and will continue monitoring the situation closely until our efforts lead us to the real dawn of peace and stability and a final end to the long struggle of the Bangsamoro people,” Madani said.

Madani was in the country early last year to help oversee the activation of the Bangsamoro Coordination Forum, a venue allowing the MNLF and the MILF to harmonize their positions with regard to achieving genuine autonomy under the 1987 Constitution.

Meanwhile, organizers of Yes for Peace - Bayanihan para sa KKK (Kapayapaan, Kaunlaran at Kasaganahan) have stepped up preparations for the planned symbolic turnover of the more than 11-million responses to President Aquino during the program to commemorate the 30th anniversary of the 1986 EDSA People Power Revolution.

According to the Philippine Information Agency, Ernesto Alcanzare, lead organizer Yes for Peace together with campaign advisers Mama Lalanto, al Haj, and Ronaldo Tuazon informed Maria Montelibano, executive director of the EDSA People Power Commission (EPPC) that, “… the hard copies of (all) the responses to the Yes for Peace campaign are in the custody of the Records Division, Philippine Postal Corporation.” 

According to the planned scenario submitted to the EPPC, the Yes for Peace responses will be loaded to mail vans and symbolically delivered and turned over to Aquino during ceremonies at the EDSA People Power Monument. –Jose Rodel Clapano


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