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The government and the MILF reaffirm their commitment to a genuine peace process.

MANILA, Philippines — The Government of the Philippines (GPH) and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) implementation panels reaffirmed their shared commitment to working for a complete Philippine peace process.

The GPH and MILF agreed on the following resolutions and action items in a joint statement released Monday, keeping in mind the continuity, stability, and sustainability of the peace dividends as well as advancements in the Bangsamoro peace process:

  1. The GPH Panel shall transmit to the MILF Panel the GPH’s recommendation for the transition of the International Monitoring Team (IMT) in order to resolve the IMT’s situation as soon as possible.
  2. The panels will continue to discuss decommissioned combatants’ socioeconomic packages.
  3. The panels agree to re-establish the Working Group for Vulnerable Sectors, which was established in 2016 by the GPH and MILF Peace Negotiating Panels, and to direct the Working Group to submit its formal report.
  4. The Study Group shall submit to the Joint Normalization Committee (JNC) its report on the Small Arms and Light Weapons program for other MILF weapons, and the JNC shall submit its report to the Panels;
  5. The MILF panel will study the GPH panel’s proposal on the Bangsamoro Government’s involvement in the disbandment of private armed groups, particularly the Ministry of Public Order and Safety; 6. The panels agree to include humanitarian reasons in the qualifications for the issuance of safe conduct passes to MILF personalities, pending the effectiveness of the amnesty process, but the GPH panel will decide on a case-by-case basis.
  6. The panels agree to form a technical working group (TWG) for the Bangsamoro police force, which will make recommendations including the drafting of executive issuances; 8. The panels advise the joint TWG on Transitional Justice and Reconciliation (TJR) to invite international experts to provide advice on the TJR roadmap; and 9. The MILF panel will study and provide inputs and comments to the draft declaration of continuity on or before
  7. The parties are considering arranging a special meeting in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, at the invitation of the Third-Party Facilitator, before the present administration ends. The parties may, however, invite the Third-Party Facilitator to hold the meeting in Manila if necessary.

The reciprocal commitment of both parties to conduct talks, using a problem-solving method, on the outstanding difficulties on the normalization process’ execution to provide inclusive solutions for the interest and welfare of the Bangsamoro is also included in the June 3 statement.

The agreement stated, “The parties fully commit that the route to peace and sustained implementation of the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro (CAB) and BOL (Bangsamoro Organic Law) remain the only viable approach in attaining lasting peace and development in the Bangsamoro.”

The MILF and the government both acknowledged their roles in collaborating “with serious optimism and resolve to faithfully implement the peace deal.”

President Rodrigo Duterte was praised by all parties for his strong leadership and for striving for a just and sustainable peace in Mindanao, as well as the ratification of the BOL and the establishment of the Bangsamoro government.

They also thanked Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr. of the Office of the Presidential Adviser on Peace, Reconciliation, and Unity (OPAPRU) and members of the MILF leadership, led by Ahod Ebrahim, now the Interim Chief Minister of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) government, for their unwavering commitment to see the CAB and BOL (Intergovernmental Relations Body and the Inter-Cabinet Cluster Mechanism on Normalization

OPAPRU Undersecretary David Diciano and MILF Peace Implementing Panel Chairperson Mohagher Iqbal signed the joint statement.

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