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The Marcos administration is devoted to aiding the Bangsamoro peace process.

According to a cabinet official, the Marcos administration is committed to improving the lives of former Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) combatants and their families as well as transforming their neighborhoods into tranquil, forward-thinking, and resilient communities. The Marcos administration also fully supports the Bangsamoro peace process.

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At the ninth meeting of the Inter-Cabinet Cluster Committee Mechanism on Normalization (ICCMN) on Thursday, Special Assistant to the President, Secretary Antonio Ernesto F. Lagdameo Jr. said, “Today is another demonstration of this administration’s commitment to taking concrete steps in ensuring that our countrymen in the Bangsamoro Region have their share of justice, peace, and development.”

The first ICCMN to be held under the present government is this one.

Lagdameo, who is also the co-chair of the ICCMN, stated that they also acknowledged the Normalization Program’s efforts to uphold peace and enhance the standard of living of the Filipino people.

He praised the ICCMN’s initiatives to expedite the Normalization Program’s implementation.

“I’m happy with how things are going with the mainstreaming of former combatants, particularly how private armed groups are still being disbanded and how the MILF camps are being changed. I see that, when viewed through a bigger lens, this represents significant advancement toward the Exit Agreement’s anticipated implementation by 2025 “said Lagdameo.

He stressed that one of the top concerns of the Marcos government is to give the ex-combatants a sustainable means of subsistence.

“Furthermore, our administration is fully aware of the difficulties caused by the state of the economy. A key focus will always be the promotion of an economic agenda that promotes inclusion and sustainable livelihood development, as well as giving former fighters a reliable path to reintegration as contributing members of society “added Lagdameo.

To “guarantee the availability of our nation’s resources to our fellow Filipinos,” he also instructed the ICCMN member organizations.

The gathering was attended by at least 30 government organizations.

The ICCMN meeting, according to departing Department of National Defense officer in charge and Presidential Adviser on Peace, Reconciliation, and Unity, Undersecretary Carlito Galvez Jr., reflects the government’s “collective commitment to the implementation of the Normalization Program in the Bangsamoro.”

“Remain focused on meeting our commitments while we adapt to the emerging realities on the ground,” Galvez urged the group’s members.

Considering the advancements made via the Bangsamoro peace process, he continued, “the ICCMN must maintain the momentum of all its programs and ensure that they are having the maximum impact on the people we are serving—the Bangsamoro people.

The sub-clusters of the ICCMN provided reports on the significant achievements made under the different parts of the Normalization Program.

The Security Cluster is managed by Presidential Assistant David B. Diciano, while Ariel C. Hernandez is in charge of the Socioeconomic Cluster. Presidential Assistant Wilben M. Mayor is in charge of the Confidence-Building Measures and Transitional Justice and Reconciliation Clusters.

Through close cooperation and increased synergy across national line agencies, the ICCMN was established to ensure the timely, suitable, and effective implementation of the Normalization Program under the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro.

Executive Order (EO) 79, signed on April 24, 2019, by the previous president Rodrigo R. Duterte, established it.

The Marcos government enacted EO 6 last year, strengthening the body, to maintain the advances made by the ICCMN.

The ICCMN has the responsibility of ensuring a whole-of-government strategy to raise the funds and resources required to carry out the Normalization Program and completely reintegrate soldiers and their families into society as peaceful and contributing members.

Co-chairing the ICCMN is Lagdameo and Galvez.

After being recently appointed to lead the Office of the Presidential Adviser on Peace, Reconciliation and Unity, Isidro L. Purisima, acting presidential peace adviser, will take up Galvez’s position as co-chair.

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