Photo by Comenei Ali
MAGUINDANAO DEL NORTE—The Bangsamoro Government, through the leadership of Chief Minister Ahod Ebrahim, expressed hope for the fulfillment of the equally important components of normalization.
Ebrahim spoke before the decommissioned combatants of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) on Thursday, August 3, in Old Capitol, Sultan Kudarat in this province and said that while decommissioning is implemented well, his leadership is also anticipating the implementation of other components of the normalization tracks.
“We are also anticipating the fulfillment of other equally important components of normalization, such as the transformation of MILF camps into productive communities, socio-economic programs, and the disbandment of private armed groups, amnesty, and transitional justice, among others, ” he explained.
“I urge our partners on the other side of the table that, as we expedite the decommissioning process, let us also expedite all other components of normalization,” Ebrahim added.
A few weeks ago, civil society organizations and other members of the Bangsamoro community demonstrated a peaceful rally in Cotabato City plaza as part of their active call to the national government and those who are responsible for the immediate implementation of the other tracks.
On July 18, prior to the President’s State of the Nation Address (SONA), several members of the Bangsamoro Transition Authority (BTA) appealed to President Marcos and Congress to grant blanket amnesty to the MILF and Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) members and fast-track its implementation.
On top of these, the MILF Implementing Peace Panel also released its official statement relative to the completion of the 3rd phase of the decommissioning.
“The decommissioning, however, is just one of the components of the normalization,” the statement read.
The group raised their concern that “to dream of the complete decommissioning combatants and weapons while leaving the other aspect of normalization unfulfilled and unimplemented will not result in peace”.
Despite the looming issues on the other tracks of normalization, the Bangsamoro Government through Ebrahim’s leadership, remains optimistic on its implementation.
“Katulad ng nag-usap kami ni Presidente [Ferdinand Marcos Jr.,], ang peace process ay nagsimula sa tatay niya at matatapos sa kanyang panungkulan,” Ebrahim said Thursday, which was applauded by the audiences.
National government’s firm commitment to lasting peace
The President has always been vocal coupled with his action in supporting the peace process in the Bangsamoro region.
During his SONA, Marcos cited that he will issue a proclamation granting amnesty to rebel returnees, though it was not specific to a particular group.
“We are now at a point in our history when their armed struggle has evolved. We have now progressed together towards peace and development,” Marcos said.
“To complete this reintegration process, I will issue a Proclamation granting amnesty to rebel returnees, and I ask Congress to support me in this endeavor,” the President added.
Office of the Presidential Adviser on Peace Reconciliation and Unity (OPAPRU) Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr., during the Aug 3 decommissioning, also reiterated that Marco’s administration is “ever supportive” for the BARMM.
“The Marcos administration is determined more than and ever to carry out interventions that are people-centered, LGU and BARMM-led, and nationally supported,” Galvez said.
On the other hand, Special Assistant to the President Sec. Antonio Ernesto Lagdameo also shared the same disposition of the national government.
“The national government maintains it delegated support and commitment as well as the other aspects of the normalization programs such as socio-economic development, security, transitional justice and reconciliation, and confidence-building measures including amnesty,” Lagdameo said. (Abdullah Matucan/BIO)