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MILF: Passing the buck on BBL ‘not good’

By: - Reporter / @NikkoDizonINQ
/ 05:27 AM December 18, 2015

The Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) on Thursday said “it was not good” to pass on to President Benigno Aquino III’s successor and the next Congress the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL), after Congress adjourned for the year without any clarity as to the future of one of Mr. Aquino’s centerpiece programs.

“It is not good to pass the buck to the next Congress or President. That is to leave the fate of the BBL to chance. That is in effect shedding off responsibility. It should be passed now, not later,” the MILF said on its official website, luwaran.com.

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The group warned of possible radicalization in Mindanao, stressing it was not a “figment of the imagination,” although the Islamic State “has not taken root” yet in Mindanao.

“It is real—there is an ongoing recruitment of youths by still unknown groups or personalities. This calls not only for vigilance but, more importantly, for a reliable partner of government it can work with to combat this impending menace,” the MILF said.

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The MILF said that having the BBL would give it, its allies, as well as factions of the Moro National Liberation Front, “leverage” to address the radicalization of young Moros that could pose a new security threat to the country.

Despite the BBL’s stalling in Congress, the peace process continues on the ground, however, with the government and the MILF concluding the 44th regular meeting of the Coordinating Committee on the Cessation of Hostilities (CCCH) and the 23rd Tripartite meeting with the International Monitoring Team (IMT) led by Malaysia.

A statement from the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (Opapp) said the two-day meeting resolved “all the outstanding issues and concerns” involving the ceasefire mechanism between government and the MILF.

With the passage of the proposed BBL that would create a new Bangsamoro region still pending, the peace agreement between the government and the MILF has yet to be fully sealed.

Which is why the CCCH and IMT still play principal roles in ensuring that violence between government and MILF forces do not break out, after the ceasefire between the two parties had been tested time and again.

After a relatively long period without a clash, the ceasefire mechanism was tested, even questioned, in the aftermath of the Mamasapano massacre in January.

The incident triggered anti-Muslim sentiments anew and hampered the passage of the BBL in Congress.

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“Both parties have also reaffirmed their shared commitment to strengthen and further enhance their security and ceasefire functions in order to bolster confidence building measures. The body also highlighted the crafting of a new set of ceasefire mechanisms to solve emerging issues vis–à–vis the maintenance of the ceasefire agreement,” the Opapp said.

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TAGS: Bangsamoro Basic Law, BBL, Benigno Aquino III, Congress, Islamic State, MILF, Moro Islamic Liberation Front, President Aquino
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