Duterte Worried over Bangsamoro Peace Process

Duterte with Ghadzali Jaafar (C), MILF vice chair for political affairs, and Bangsamoro Islamic Armed Forces (BIAF) Chief of Staff, Sammy Al-Mansour.

Davao City, Philippines, 10 Sya’ban 1438/7 May 2017 (MINA) – President Rodrigo Duterte admitted he is a bit worried that nothing will come out of the peace talks with both the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) and the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) seeking to bring lasting peace to the Bangsamoro areas, Philstar reported on Saturday.

“Kaya pati ako, ‘di naman kinabahan (I’m not really bothered) but I’m a little bit worried that nothing will come out of this,” he told policemen of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) during a visit to their headquarters in Parang, Maguindanao Friday afternoon.

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Duterte explained that he has been talking to both the MILF and the MNLF to address their concerns and eventually come up with a comprehensive peace accord for all the concerned parties in the south.

“I am talking to the MI pati (and) MN but apparently you’d notice nag-aagawan sila ng kampo ngayon (they are fighting over camps). So I’m at a loss even. I was very optimistic before but I’m a bit pessimistic now. He is keeping his silence, but he talks to me in private,” the President said, referring to MNLF chairman Nur Misuari.

The President said the concerns of the parties in the peace process in the south were legitimate grievances, which government is trying to resolve.

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1996 peace accord

In order for the peace process to move forward with the various Moro groups, the President formally constituted the Bangsamoro Transition Commission (BTC) last February.

The BTC that would draw up the Bangsamoro enabling law is chaired by MILF vice chair for political affairs Ghadzali Jaafar.

The BTC has been given until July to come up with the draft of the new enabling law that would be submitted to Congress.

However, Misuari has been vocal about his lack of interest to join the BTC and link up with the MILF that is a splinter group of the MNLF.

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The MNLF wants government to acknowledge and implement the provisions of the 1996 final peace agreement that was inked in Jakarta, Indonesia.

The MNLF has elevated to the Organization of Islamic Conference (OIC) its complaints that government has reneged on its supposed obligations in implementing the 1996 peace accord. (T/RS5/RS1)

Mi’raj Islamic News Agency (MINA)