Sultan Kudarat, Maguindanao- During his State of the Peace Process Report on the opening of National Peace Consciousness Month on Tuesday, Presidential Peace Adviser Carlito G. Galvez, Jr. lauded the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) for its resolve to push forward the Bangsamoro peace process.
A OPAPP Site report on Tuesday quoted Galvez saying, “Kagagaling ko lang po ng Cotabato para sa decommissioning. Mayroon po sa kanila (MILF), naka-wheelchair. Pero ‘yung nararamdaman po nila, masayang-masaya po sila. Sabi nila, ‘at least buhay kami na naabutan namin ang peaceful resolution ng Bangsamoro conflict” Galvez said.
“These achievements signal the start of a new and exciting chapter in the Bangsamoro people’s history,” Galvez said. “Finally, our Moro brothers and sisters are taking the lead in charting their region’s economic and political future,” the OPAPP site said.
A public launch of the decommissioning of MILF combatants and their weapons will take place on September 7. The venue is yet to be announced by OPAPP in due time, but is presumed to be undertaken in this town of Sultan Kudarat where about 1,060 MILF combatants and 920 weapons will be decommissioned.
President Rodrigo Roa Duterte and other high-ranking government officials are expected to witness the event.
“Itong decommissioning ay napaka importante dahil ito ay sisimbolo ng katahimikan sa Mindanao. Ang MILF ang magiging ehemplo, na makikita natin na ang buong Mindanao ay magbebenepisyo,” Galvez said.
According to Galvez, the successful decommissioning of MILF combatants will be the key in addressing situations of conflict in Mindanao, and convincing other armed groups to return to the folds of the law.
“When we talked to the MILF, ‘yung mga BIFF at saka mga Abu Sayyaf, pag nakita nila na maganda ang kinalabasan ng normalisasyon at decommissioning, ay talagang magbababa na rin sila ng mga baril,” he said.
In his remarks, Galvez cited other key milestones in the Bangsamoro peace process such as the passage of the Bangsamoro Organic Law, the creation of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, and the establishment of the Bangsamoro Transition Authority.
The decommissioning of members of the Bangsamoro Islamic Armed Forces (BIAF) is part of Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro (CAB) signed between the government and the MILF on August 27, 2014.
The BOL was passed by Congress on August 26, 2018 and signed into law by President Duterte.