Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
August 13, 2016

Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process Jesus Dureza and Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) Chair Al Haj Murad Ebrahim, together with Malaysian facilitator YM Tengku Dato Ab Ghafar Tengku Mohamed, led the Joint Official Launching of the Implementing Phase and Related Discussions on the Bangsamoro Agreements in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

“Today is a big milestone in our work for peace in Mindanao and the whole country… The negotiation stage is over, we move to the very more important part which is implementation. Expectations are very high in our people there, and we have to meet these expectations together, no longer negotiating, taking strong positions against each other across the table but now going to be partners and how to make things happen for the Bangsamoro,” Secretary Dureza said.

MILF Chair Al Haj Murad similarly expressed his enthusiasm and renewed vigor to engage in the implementing phase with the Government of the Philippines (GPH) under President Duterte’s leadership. “With strong political will of President Rodrigo Roa Duterte to resolve the Bangsamoro question, we find ourselves partnering again to bring this exercise to a successful conclusion… This is the only reasonable and viable pathway that can bring progress, development, and lasting peace to our country, the Philippines, and in particular, Mindanao.”

The two newly formed implementing panels would engage in a series of meetings to jumpstart the implementing phase. Among the topics to be discussed include the creation of the Bangsamoro Transition Commission (BTC), a body tasked to draft the Bangsamoro enabling law.

According to Secretary Dureza, the BTC would expand its members to include other political groups in Mindanao such as the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF), Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao (ARMM), Sultanates, and the Lumads.

Currently, the BTC is composed of eight representatives from the MILF and seven appointees of the GPH. While other parties outside the MILF would be included in the future BTC, the MILF would still head the panel.

*  *  *