MNLF leaders support ‘Bangsamoro’ – Deles
MANILA, Philippines -- Several officials of the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) see eye-to-eye with the government when it comes to the creation of the new political entity, Bangsamoro, which is expected to end the decades-long war in the strife-torn south.
In an interview with radio dzRB, Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process Teresita Quintos Deles said, “I have talked to the facilitators of the tripartite review. They agree with the process. We have been telling them that the MNLF will be acknowledged in the process.”
This comes amid criticisms from MNLF chief Nur Misuari that the framework deal announced by President Benigno Aquino III last Sunday, October 7, was a violation of the 1976 Tripoli agreement between his group and then President Ferdinand Marcos.
The MNLF signed in 1996, during the time of President Fidel Ramos, a final peace pact. There, around 10,000 of their guerillas integrated into the Armed Forces and the police.
MNLF officials also assimilated into the political mainstream, with some now members of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM).
The 16-year-old pact is undergoing a tripartite review led by MNLF officials, representatives of the Aquino government and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation. The review was initiated in order to solve weak provisions in the original peace agreement.
“As of now, [Nur Misuari] said he will not be joining [the process on the creation of Bangsamoro],” Deles said.
According to Deles, conduits are now talking to Misuari to persuade him to join. “We hope that Nur Misuari will see that what Bangsamoro aims is peace,” she said.
Deles also expressed hope that the MNLF will join the transition committee, which will draft the law that will create Bangsamoro.
“Any proposed law resulting from this framework will be subject to ratification through a plebiscite. Once approved, there will be elections,” Aquino has said.