Execs, MILF elated with Noy’s renewal of commitment to Mindanao peace PDF Print E-mail
Sunday, 29 March 2015 14:40

Local executives were elated with President Benigno Aquino III’s reassurance to forge ahead with his administration’s peace overture with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front despite the January 25 “Mamasapano incident.”

The MILF had stated  too, in its official report on the incident circulated on Wednesday, that it will not disengage from the Mindanao peace process even as 17 of its members perished in an encounter with police commandos in Mamasapano, Maguindanao last January 25.

“These are very promising indications that the government-MILF peace efforts will not collapse and that warmongers will not succeed in preventing both sides from pursuing the implementation of a peace agreement crafted last year, the Comprehensive Agreement on Bangsamoro,” said Gov. Mujiv Hataman of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao.

The ARMM covers Maguindanao and Lanao del Sur, both in mainland Mindanao, and the island provinces of Basilan, Sulu and Tawi-Tawi, which the MILF wants to group together as main bastion of the proposed Bangsamoro political entity.

The enactment into law of the enabling measure for the creation of an MILF-led Bangsamoro government, the draft Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL), had been stalled by the controversy sparked by the Mamasapano incident.

“The Bangsamoro Basic Law is one of the most important proposed bills of our administration. It answers the two most pressing problems of our countrymen: poverty and violence,” the President said in a speech Friday.

“This bill is the product of 17 years of extensive study and negotiations,” the President pointed out in his speech which marked the first anniversary of the March 27, 2014 Bangsamoro peace deal.

Ghadzali Jaafar, MILF’s vice chairman for political affairs, said they were elated with the reassurance of President Aquino to punch on with the peace process.

The Bangsamoro peace pact was crafted in Malacañang on March 27 last year by the government and MILF peace panels, in the presence of Muslim leaders from across Mindanao and officials embassies of different countries, including member-states of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation.

The President had said in his speech that it is more sensible to resolve the Mindanao Moro issue peacefully.

“Consider this: if the peace process is derailed once more, we will lose ground for sincere dialogue with leaders, and with all the Moros who are ready to listen to reason and who genuinely seek peace. Isn’t it possible that they too might be pushed to join those who want violence? If the troubling situation in Mindanao worsens, the wounds would grow deeper, and more persons would resent their condition,” President Aquino said.

Gov. Esmael Mangudadatu, whose province covers 36 towns where the MILF has major enclaves, said the renewed commitment of Malacañang  and the rebel group not to let the Mamasapano incident affect the peace process will bolster the confidence of investors on the business climate of Maguindanao.

Maguindanao is host to the MILF’s main stronghold, Camp Darapanan, located in the west of Sultan Kudarat town in the first district of the province,

“Actually none of the foreign investors we have recently asked to put up businesses in Maguindanao had pulled out because of the Mamasapano incident. They stayed for good. The speech of President Aquino last Friday will improve even more the investment atmosphere in Maguindanao,” Mangudadatu said.

Mangudadatu and Hataman are both against military solutions to the now four-decade Moro quest for self-governance via the international “right to self determination” doctrine.