Nabil Tan, deputy presidential peace adviser and chairman of the Government Implementing Panel for the Bangsamoro accords, said the meeting focused on implementing ceasefire mechanisms and the normalization process.
Normalization for MILF fighters, communities under way
Jose Rodel Clapano (The Philippine Star) - August 10, 2018 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — The implementing panels of the Philippine government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) met on Wednesday with members of the different peace mechanisms as part of preparations for the normalization track, a key process in the implementation of the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro (CAB) between the two parties.

Nabil Tan, deputy presidential peace adviser and chairman of the Government Implementing Panel for the Bangsamoro accords, said the meeting focused on implementing ceasefire mechanisms and the normalization process.

“The preparations for the normalization are complex; security concerns are serious matters. We also have the bigger audience to address and showcase that in this partnership, we can maintain our peaceful co-existence on the ground,” Tan said.

Mohagher Iqbal, chair of the MILF Implementing Panel, emphasized the need for all parties to be steadfast, saying the implementation process is more difficult than the negotiations.

“Implementation is more difficult than the theoretical side of it. We need to be very creative. There are situations on the ground that we haven’t foreseen which we need to navigate,” Iqbal said.

“The journey is not yet over. We have to travel some distance. The road is full of twists and turns, humps and bumps,” he added.

The meeting in Cotabato City was held following the ceremonial presentation of the Bangsamoro Organic Law (BOL) at the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) main office on Wednesday. 

Iqbal said the BOL signifies the closure of armed conflict between the government and the MILF.

“Now that we have the BOL, more than anything else, this is for the youth, for the future generations of the Bangsamoro. They will be the ones who will reap all these benefits,” he said.

Dato Kamaruddin bin Mustafa, the Malaysian facilitator, lauded the government and the MILF for their role in the peace process in Mindanao.

“I’m pleased to be here today to listen to the many groups that are involved in the peace process,” Mustafa said.

The ceasefire mechanisms – International Monitoring Team, Coordinating Committee on the Cessation of Hostilities, and Ad Hoc Joint Action Group – were created during the early stages of peace negotiations by both sides as their commitment to the ceasefire agreement, and to create an environment of peace while the parties are negotiating. 

The joint bodies under the Annex on Normalization were established following the parties’ pledge to transform the lives of the MILF combatants into productive members of the community and to pursue sustainable livelihood free from fear of violence and crime, while their camps will also transform into peaceful communities.

The bodies under the normalization process are Joint Normalization Committee, Joint Peace and Security Committee, Independent Decommissioning Body, Joint Task Forces on Camps Transformation and Task Force for Decommissioning Combatants and their Communities.  – With Edith Regalado  

BANGSAMORO ORGANIC LAW COMPREHENSIVE AGREEMENT ON THE BANGSAMORO MORO ISLAMIC LIBERATION FRONT
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