Next Leaders Must Preserve Government-MILF Peace Gains

Rallies urging ratification BBL
Rallies urging ratification BBL

Manila, Philippines, 4 Jumadil Awwal 1437/12 February 2016 (MINA) – Leaders of the next administration must preserve the gains of the peace process with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) said international monitors on Thursday.

Chairman Alistair MacDonald, who along with other members of the Third Party Monitoring Team (TPMT) joined the two-day meeting of the government and MILF in Malaysia, said the next leaders have no other recourse but to preserve the gains of the peace process and to continue its implementation toward the passage of the Bangsamoro Bill.

“No government can afford to neglect the peace process: not for reasons of national development, not for reasons of national security, and not for reasons that [belittle] the importance of not creating a climate for violent extremism,” he said. Mi’raj Islamic News Agency (MINA) reported quoting Philstar.

Malaysian third party facilitator Tengku Dato Ab Ghafar Tengku Mohamed said that the upcoming elections must not keep the peace process from moving forward.

“We must preserve the gains, we must continue… Changing of government doesn’t mean changing of infrastructure. We may add, but not [subtract],” he said.

European Union Ambassador Franz Jessen said the two-day meeting in Malaysia is a strong message to the public that they are still committed to the peace process in the Philippines.

“The journey has not yet ended but the meeting today demonstrates that the perseverance and commitment have not been lost,” he said.

“The parties, meeting here today, are proving that they, that you, are resilient and truly committed to peace. This is an important message to the public.”

Jessen, who was invited by the panels to observe the meeting, urged the government and the MILF to continue the peace process.

“I encourage the government of the Philippines and the MILF to continue seeking the paths for the implementation of commitments made over the 17 years of negotiations and continue their engagements,” he said. (T/R07/R01)

Mi’raj Islamic News Agency (MINA)