President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. will continue to carry out the commitments under the Bangsamoro Peace Agreement as the government eyes to finish all decommissioning efforts for former Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) combatants before 2025.
In a news briefing on Saturday, Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace, Reconciliation and Unity (OPAPRU) Director Wendell Orbeso thanked the President for making the policy as part of his priority peace legacy agenda.
“Unang-unang nagpapasalamat tayo sa ating Pangulong Ferdinand ‘Bongbong’ Marcos Jr. for making the Bangsamoro peace process as his priority peace legacy agenda of his administration. I equivocally say that he will not waver in his commitment to implement the peace agreement, the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro, which was started by his father before under the Tripoli agreement,” Orbeso said.
“Ang pangako ni Presidente ay tatapusin niya ang mga commitments sa Bangsamoro Peace Process under his administration,” he added.
Orbeso reported that the commitments under the peace process are doing well with the resumption of the Phase Three Decommissioning process, which took place in Sultan Kudarat, Maguindanao last Thursday, August 3.
The decommissioning process is one of the key provisions of the Annex on Normalization of the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro (CAB).
A total of 1,301 soldiers from the Moro Islamic Liberation Front – Bangsamoro Islamic Armed Forces (MILF-BIAF) completed the decommissioning process. This raises the overall number of decommissioned combatants to 26,145 since the process began on November 8, 2021. The decommissioning phase 3 will continue until August 10.
“Ang process ay ito po ang isa sa mga importanteng aspect ng peace agreement sa MILF, kung saan ito ay hudyat ng pagsisimula ng transpormasyon or ang pagbabalik-loob ng mga dating combatants ng Moro Islamic Liberation Front para sila po ay mag-transition into a peaceful and productive civilian lives,” Orbeso said.
The OPAPRU targets to decommission a total of 40,000 combatants before the start of the election period in 2025, according to Orbeso. They are eyeing to commence Phase 4 of the decommissioning for 14,000 former MILF combatants within the year to stay on track with the goal.
“Itong nangyayaring resumption ng decommissioning ay nagpapakita ng sincerity, yung firm commitment ng national government, ng ating mahal ng Pangulong Bongbong Marcos, at yung jointness ng trust and confidence between the government of the Philippines and Moro Islamic Liberation Front to push forward the implementation of the Bangsamoro Peace Process,” he said.
The Bangsamoro peace process was settled in 2017 with the signing of the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro (CAB), the passing of the Bangsamoro Organic Law, and, the plebiscite in 2019.
Orbeso expressed optimism that an exit agreement will be signed by 2025 once all commitments are fulfilled. PND