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Disarming of MILF becoming a thorny issue

/ 04:45 PM October 17, 2012

House Minority Leader Danilo Suarez. INQUIRER FILE PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines — Achieving peace in conflict-riddled areas in Mindanao will be a lot of work and House minority leader Danilo Suarez on Wednesday said that what the government should do is to ensure that armed groups are divested of their weapons during the implementation of the peace agreement.

He said that they welcomed the framework agreement for peace with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) but urged that the government focus on creating its implementing rules and regulations (IRR) and ensuring “one very important detail…the matter of disarmament.”

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“We need to make sure that the IRR to be crafted for this framework will be very clear and stringent on the issue of disarming the armed elements of the MILF and other groups in the region at the very onset of implementation,” said Suarez.

The peace process could be jeopardized by the region’s “very strong gun culture…pockets of violence and other complications can easily erupt into full-blown confrontations,” he added.

A disarmament, demobilization, and reintegration (DDR) program was necessary to avoid such complications, according to the minority bloc leader.

Marvic Leonen, the government’s chief negotiator, recently told legislators that the MILF has agreed to gradually decommission its ranks and help the authorities in securing Mindanao as part of the “normalization” provision in its agreement with the Philippine government.

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TAGS: framework agreement, MILF, Nation, News, Peace Talks
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