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MILF to launch info drive on framework agreement

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COTABATO CITY – The Moro Islamic Liberation Front said it would hold separate information drive on the Framework Agreement that it signed with the Aquino administration in the so-called controlled areas in Mindanao from November 5 to 15.

Covering the entire Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao and some provinces in adjacent regions where its 12,000-strong MILF armed members operate, the public consultations would be undertaken by officials of the MILF central committee and its coordinated committee on the cessation of hostilities (CCCH), said Ghadzali Jaafar, MILF vice chair for political affairs.

Jaafar, in a radio interview on Monday, said “it is important to help the ARMM government in its massive campaign to inform and educate the people about the Agreement especially on the proposed power and wealth-sharing with the national government.”

The information drive will be unilaterally done, instead of doing it alongside with the government, Jaafar said.

“Right now, MILF resource persons will explain the content of the agreement, and all other queries will be gathered and relayed to the government,” he said.

According to Jaafar, MILF-controlled areas in Mindanao have to be clustered for public consultation purposes that include the South Cotabato-Sarangani-General Santos area, part of Davao, North Cotabato, Sultan Kudarat, Maguindanao, the two Lanaos, Zamboanga and island provinces of Western Mindanao.

He said there are 10 MILF provincial ceasefire committees that will carry-out the task in the South-Central Mindanao area.

Jaafar did not say if the government is funding the MILF initiative which will have its biggest public gathering on Tuesday at Darapanan village, an MILF sanctuary in Sultan Kudarat, Maguindanao.

“We expect hundreds, if not thousands, would gather to listen and raise queries to selected speakers who would explain in the vernacular what the Agreement is all about and the benefits derived from it when the final peace pact shall have been formalized and signed,” he said.

Jaafar said the MILF information drive would be open to all affected inhabitants in the soon-to-be established Bangsamoro government in Mindanao.

ARMM Acting Gov. Mujiv Hataman, who earlier announced the region’s massive info-drive of P10 million drawn out from his `special purpose fund,’ has hailed the MILF initiative, saying the MILF move would be complementary in clearing-out misconceptions and aid douse-off apprehensions of some issues, especially concerning `proprietary rights’ on landholdings.

Hataman said local government units in the provincial and municipal levels have already been tapped by the Department of the Interior and Local Government and have started to reach-out “grassroot audience.”

Even civil society and religious groups, including media organizations have signified interest to help in the information dissemination, especially in the free distribution of photocopies of the Framework Agreement that the government and the MILF signed on Oct. 8 in Malacañang.


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Tags: framework agreement , Insurgency , MILF , Mindanao conflict , Nation , News




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