Int’l peace monitoring team seeks Bangsamoro bill passage
An independent group monitoring the Bangsamoro peace process is pushing the immediate passage of a law compliant with the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro (CAB) to address the growing extremism among Mindanao’s youth.
The Third-Party Monitoring Team (TPMT) noted in its fourth annual public report how the burgeoning ideology of the Islamic State (IS); frustration with the governance of both the government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF); and the promise of ample financial support have been luring young recruits.
At a press briefing Friday, Rahib Kudto, a TPMT member from the United Youth for Peace and Development Inc, said the CAB-compliant Bangsamoro Basic Law reflects the aspirations of all Bangsamoro people.
“The failure to pass the BBL in the previous administration deepened frustration among the people and more youth became attracted to violent extremism, leading to the rise of terrorist groups like the Maute group,” he pointed out.
He stressed, “Another failure to pass this important legislation could mean worse for the peace process and the already volatile situation in Mindanao,” adding that “the BBL law would be the most effective way of combating extremism.”
For her part TPMT member Karen Tañada, of the Gaston Z. Ortigas Peace Institute, observed that the peace process “could be on the verge of a breakthrough on condition that the twin challenges of completing BBL legislation and combating violent extremism can be effectively addressed.”
Tañada pointed out that it would also not hurt to give “satisfactory” packages to some 30,000 decommissioned MILF combatants adding that while government might want to avoid raising expectations, this might put off MILF members from completely laying down their firearms.
International TPMT member Huseyin Oruc, of the Turkish Insan Hak ve Hürriyetleri ve Insani Yardim Vakfi (Foundation for Human rights and Freedoms and Humanitarian Relief) pointed out that the MILF and the government must work together to meet some of the expectations of decommissioned combatants.