Monday, September 7, 2015

OIC insists on ‘convergence’

From The Standard (Sep 8): OIC insists on ‘convergence’

THE Organization of Islamic Cooperation on Monday insisted that any new peace agreement with the Moro people in Mindanao should also include the 1976 Tripoli agreement and the 1996 Jakarta peace accord, according to a special envoy of the 57-nation bloc.

“We should not lose the gains that we achieved in previous agreements and we should not waste the efforts that have been undertaken over the past 40 years,” OIC Ambassador Sayed Al-Masry said at a meeting with representatives of the government and the Moro National Liberation Front.

Consensus building. Ambassador Sayed Al-Masry (center, in suit) presides over informal talks with representatives of the government (right) and the Moro National Liberation Front (left) ahead of a review of the implementation of the 1996 Jakarta peace agreement the government signed with the MNLF. FRANKIE TUYAY

Al-Masry arrived in the country Saturday to preside over technical informal meetings with the government and the MNLF ahead of the Tripartite Review Process that will be held in November to review and possibly terminate the 1996 Jakarta peace agreement with the MNLF.

But the MNLF maintains that the 1996 Jakarta peace agreement and its precedent 1976 Tripoli agreement have not been fully implemented and the government is already pursuing a new agreement with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front.

“It’s in the agenda, how to converge, how to link the two accords and how to implement the new agreement without losing the gains acquired in previous agreements,” Al-Masry said.

Al-Masry clarified that the OIC has no position on the Bangsamoro Basic Law, contrary to interpretations of the remarks of OIC secretary general Iyad Amin Madani when he visited the country in April.

No position,” Al-Masry said if the OIC had decided what form of the BBL to support.

“When Madani came here, he was assured by legislative, administrative and even on very high level officials that we are not going to have a diluted version of the BBL as originally drafted,” he said.

“I would like to emphasize that the OIC does not endorse the MNLF neither the MILF. We are only helping the Muslim minority, the Bangsamoro people,” Al-Masry said.

The OIC envoy noted that under the proposed Bangsamoro measures, honest and transparent elections  are guaranteed. “Whatever comes out from this elections is the opinion of the people,” Al-Masry said.

But MNLF spokesman Rev. Absalom Cerveza said it is virtually impossible to merge the 1996 Jakarta agreements with the MILF peace agreement BBL.

 “The OIC does not understand that the Jakarta accord cannot be implemented by another peace accord which is between the government and another party,” Cerveza said.

“The Jakarta agreement can only be implemented by the government through an organic act and will be  passed and conformed to by the MNLF,” Cerveza explained

Al-Masry conceded that three vital items relating to territories, transitional and mineral sharing in the Jakarta agreement have not been addressed, but it has also resolved 40 provisions of the pact.

He also confirmed that the government has asked that the Tripartite Review already be terminated, implying that the government had already fulfilled the provisions of the Jakarta agreement.

But the OIC envoy said the Islamic bloc insisted on its resumption “not with a view to terminate but to successfully conclude in a way that will accommodate the other treaty and attend the unresolved issue and make a link between the two agreements.”

He noted that the MNLF only views the peace pact with the MILF as a partial implementation of the Jakarta and Tripoli agreements, “partially means it is part of the territory of their historic homeland.”

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