Hataman, Mangudadatu reiterate support to GPH-MILF overture PDF Print E-mail
Sunday, 13 July 2014 15:01

Muslim local executives are confident Malacañang and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) can soon reach a mutual consensus on the contents of the draft Basic Bangsamoro Law (BBL).
The MILF had earlier ranted on what it called “revision” of the draft BBL by the Office of the President following a two-month evaluation of all of its provisions.
“We believe in the competence of both sides to thresh out issues and come to terms. We just have to support their diplomatic initiative to address the decades-old `Moro issue’ all the way,” Maguindanao Gov. Esmael Mangudadatu, chairman of the Maguindanao provincial peace and order council, said in a statement emailed to reporters on Saturday.
Mangudadatu, who has jurisdiction over 36 towns that are known bastions of the MILF, said his statement was in support of the joint communiqué issued by negotiators ofthe rebel group and the government during their July 8-11 meeting in the Malaysian capital Kuala Lumpur to discuss issues regarding the draft BBL.
Both sides had stated in the joint communiqué that there were “positive developments” in their latest meeting, held at the Bellamy Hall in Kuala Lumpur.
“There are strong indications both sides can achieve more breakthroughs in their next round of meetings,” said Mangudadatu, presiding chairman of the provincial peace and order council.
Maguindanao is host to Camp Darapanan, the main headquarters of the MILF, whose on-going overture with the GPH is being supported by various international peace advocacy outfits, including the governments of Japan, Norway, the European Union, and other foreign organizations involved in peace-building activities around the world.
“They (GPH and MILF panels) achieved modest progress and identified `consensus language’ in the light of signed agreements. They resolved to continue working together to come up with a mutually acceptable draft Bangsamoro Basic Law,” said the bilateral press statement both camps released in Kuala Lumpur Friday afternoon, at the culmination of their four-day meeting.
Mangudadatu and Gov. Mujiv Hataman of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao on Saturday again appealed to the local Muslim, Christian, and indigenous non-Moro highland communities to refrain from speculating on the on-going government-MILF peace efforts, and to shun rumors purporting there is an impasse now in the efforts of both sides to have the draft BBL enacted by Congress.
The BBL, once enacted into law and ratified via a plebiscite in a referendum in the proposed Bangsamoro homeland, shall pave the way for the ARMM’s replacement with an MILF-led Bangsamoro political entity.
“Both sides have never stopped from trying to harmonize everything. We just have to give them enough room where to talk and accomplish the remaining works lying ahead of them. Let’s not issue hostile, speculative comments, or believe in rumors,” Hataman said.
Mangudadatu appealed to his constituents observing the Islamic Ramadhan fasting season, which started June 29 and will last until third week of July, to offer supplications for a “durable outcome” of the GPH-MILF peace efforts.
“We need to invoke continuing providential blessings for all these efforts, to build lasting peace in Mindanao to succeed, whenever we perform Ramadhan obligatory prayers,”  Mangudadatu said.
The government and MILF panels have agreed to meet again “in the coming days” to continue resolving issues and concerns regarding the draft BBL, according to the joint communiqué.