EU to train MILF members for Bangsamoro transition

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Mar 08 2019 03:30 PM

MANILA - The European Union is set to train 41 members of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) in preparation for the transition to the new Bangsamoro region in Mindanao, its delegation in Manila said Friday. 

The EU delegation said training will cover public policy, governance, and management and will be led by the Center for Peace and Conflict Studies and the Bangsamoro Leadership and Management Institute.

The Center for Peace and Conflict Studies is a Cambodian non-government organization working on peace-building in Asia while the Bangsamoro Leadership and Management Institute is run by the MILF.

"The EU remains committed to support the need for a better future for Bangsamoro and its people- the aspirations and visions for the future of every well-meaning citizen, not only of Bangsamoro but outside of Bangsamoro," EU Ambassador to Manila Franz Jessen said in a statement Friday.

Of the 41 MILF members included in the training, 6 are from the group's central committee. None are members of the Bangsamoro Transition Authority (BTA) but are expected to play an important role. 

"It is expected that the middle managers will be the gatekeepers for the BTA members and therefore will play a crucial role in providing technical support to the BTA members," the EU said.

The EU added that trainees would also embark on a week-long "study tour" to countries "where peace processes allowed for a revolutionary organization's transition to a political organization." 

The BTA, the 3-year transition government of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM), is composed of 41 representatives from the MILF and 39 from the government.

Murad Ebrahim, chairman of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), will head the BTA as interim chief minister.

The creation of the BTA is one of the major steps in the peace process between the Philippine government and the MILF, which once led a secessionist rebellion in Mindanao. 

The BTA was established following the ratification of the Bangsamoro Organic Law, the enabling measure of the peace agreement between government and the MILF. The law provides for the creation of the BARMM, a more powerful self-governing region in Mindanao.