From the Philippine News Agency (May 9): 'Bangsamoro peace process is long-term solution' vs. terrorism, says official
The long-term solution to end terrorism in Mindanao hinges on the success of the Bangsamoro peace process, said a top military commander who is overseeing the government’s campaign against terrorist groups in the island.
Lt. Gen. Carlito Galvez Jr., Western Mindanao Command (Westmincom) chief, on Tuesday said the military fully supports the Duterte administration’s peace agenda, particularly the implementation of the peace agreements the government has signed with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) and the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF).
“The outcome of the peace process has a direct correlation with our problem on terrorism,” Galvez told the Philippines News Agency.
Galvez said he recently met with the leaders of the Moro fronts, who relayed to him that terror groups in Mindanao are capitalizing on the delay in the implementation, especially the political track, of the peace agreements.
“IQ (MILF former chief negotiator Mohager Iqbal) said that if the future of the BBL (Bangsamoro Basic Law) and the peace process between the government and the MILF and MNLF will be tentative, there is a big possibility they (terrorist groups) can recruit more,” he said.
Currently, the administration of President Rodrigo Duterte is pushing for an inclusive BBL that will reflect the interests of the Bangsamoro people, lumads (indigenous people) and settlers in Mindanao.
The President earlier created a new composition of the Bangsamoro Transition Commission (BTC), represented by different sectors in Mindanao, to redraft the BBL and submit it to Congress by June.
The BBL is eyed to be approved within the year to give a legal foundation for the creation of a new Bangsamoro region that will replace the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM).
The new law will be based on the previous peace agreements namely the 1996 Final Peace Agreement between the government and the MNLF, and the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro (CAB) between the government and the MILF.
Originally, the BBL was introduced during the Aquino administration but Congress failed to approve it. p>Amid the campaign against terrorism, Galvez noted that it is part of their mandate to ensure that all troops are well aware of the peace agenda of the administration.