Friday, February 15, 2013

MILF reiterates its commitment in the reduction of explosive remnants of war


From the Website of MILF
links: http://www.luwaran.com/home/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=3097:milf-reiterates-its-commitment-in-the-reduction-of-explosive-remnants-of-war&catid=31:general&Itemid=41

MILF reiterates its commitment in the reduction of explosive remnants of war

February 15, 2013 News: Years after the guns fell silent between the government forces and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front the threat of explosive remnants of war is now being addressed through a joint mines/UXO clearance operations in partnership with the Philippine Campaign to Ban Landmines (PCBL) and the Swiss Foundation for Mine Action (FSD) through an agreement signed by both negotiating panels in Kuala Lumpur three years ago.

“This project is all about implementing agreements; it is about rolling up our sleeves and getting our shoes soiled. This is the best occasion for peace negotiators because there are only a few moments that peace negotiators get to see signed agreements in Kuala Lumpur become a reality. This is the kind of work that will also try to bridge the gap caused by several years of war and mistrust”, PCBL National Coordinator Alfredo Ferrariz Lubang expressed in his opening remarks.

During the community launch of the initiative in the municipality of Mother Kabuntalan in Maguindanao, GPH Chair Miriam Coronel Ferrer recalled her first meetings with the leadership of the MILF was on the issue of banning anti-personnel landmines. She was then the PCBL National Coordinator. The engagement led to the commitment of the MILF not to use anti-personnel mines. The MILF is the first armed group in the world who committed to a ban the use of landmines.

Timuay Melanio Ulama, a member of the MILF Peace Negotiating Panel Board of Consultants relayed the message of support of Chairman Mohagher Iqbal. He stressed that the Bangsamoro’s aspiration is in line with the vision of the initiative “From Battlefields to Ricefields” and reiterated the full support of the MILF in the implementation of this agreement.

Ambassador Guy Ledoux of the European Commission, together with seven (7) members of the European Parliament, congratulated all parties for this effort. In his message of support, Honorable Werner Langen reiterated EU’s support for the peace process and the aspiration for peace in Mindanao.

Craig Willis, Programme Manager of FSD gave an overview of the project which entail a survey and mapping of communities, marking of suspected hazardous areas, and clearing operations in coordination with both the GPH and the MILF.

The Joint Task Force on Mines/UXO Detection and Clearance, composed of the GPH CCCH, MILF CCCH, PCBL, FSD and the International Monitoring Team (IMT), is tasked to oversee the implementation of this agreement.

The International Monitoring Team, the local officials and members of the community from the municipalities of Mother Kabuntalan and North Kabuntalan, representatives from the military and the police, international and local organizations, and members of the press were all present during the launching ceremony.


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Welcome Address of AL HAJ MURAD EBRAHIM, MILF CHAIRMAN during the GPH-MILF Sajahatra Bangsamoro


Bismillahir Rahmaanir Raheem
Alhamdulillah. Wassalaatu Wassalaamu Ala Rasulillah.
Assalamu Alaikum Wa Rahmatullahi Wa Barakatoh
His Excellency President Benigno Simeon Aquino III and the members of his delegation

My brothers from the Central Committee of the MILF and fellow mujahideen

Members of the Diplomatic Corps
Heads and Representatives of different INGOs, NGOs and Partner Donor Organizations

Our people, the Bangsamoro people, for whom we have fought and dedicated the best of our years in the hope that one day you can stand among all peoples of the world as equals.
A very pleasant good morning to all of you.

Today, almost 4 months after we signed the Framework Agreement on the Bangsamoro (FAB) in Malacañang Palace, we welcome on this humble yet historic grounds, no less than the President of the Republic of the Philippines, His Excellency Benigno Simeon Noynoy Aquino III.

Truly, we are humbled by this grand gesture of the President of personally launching several socio-economic projects dubbed as SAJAHATRA BANGSAMORO on this hallowed ground that has seen many of the battles that we have fought to win freedom and the right of our people to chart their own destiny. This place has been a living witness to many of our struggles during the Martial Law years. It is also significant to note that today’s launching is being held at the BLMI. The Bangsamoro Leadership and Management Institute is another landmark achievement in this long and arduous peace process that we have embarked on. It is a unique testament of our resolve to transition and an openness to acquire new set of skills necessary for the governance of our people. To the credit of the GPH, it is certainly a bold step for government to partner not with the usual institutions of government, but with one of its adversaries, in a remarkable journey to peace. This building is a towering commitment of that partnership and an edifice of our shared hope and vision for the future of our people.

It is equally an enduring symbol of the partnership between us and the international community, notably the Japanese people, who shared with us the vision of peace and who so kindly funded the construction of this building which is now becoming a popular venue for workshops and trainings to capacitate our people.

Mr. President, I shall be candid with you as I have always been. We welcome these initial dividends of peace. We welcome development. We welcome the continuing partnership between the MILF and the GPH. Indeed, as Muslims and revolutionaries, we dream of the dawning of peace and development for our people. But while we indeed welcome this sincere gesture of government to make immediate the dividends of peace to our people, we caution all not to lose sight of the imperative and the challenges of the works ahead – that of achieving in the soonest possible time the signing of a comprehensive compact between the MILF and the GPH. Development is so important. Yes, it is so important that it must stand, and stand alone, on the solid foundation of permanent peace. A peace that is achieved by addressing the fundamental political issues that has fuelled this conflict and consumed the energy and resources of this region and this country. This goal, therefore, must remain the single most important task of this partnership, for only when we achieve this can we truly be assured of real development not only in this region but also for this country.

The MILF stands ready as your partner in this journey.

Further development can only be effective where it is people-centred. One that is determined and undertaken by its ultimate beneficiaries.  One that empowers people and its processes empowering. It cannot be dictated from the centre for ownership is essential. We recognize, however, that the type of development strategy that the President has undertaken today, where the beneficiaries determines the kind of development is remarkable. This, however, must be institutionalized and should not depend on the kind of President that sits in power. This must be institutionalized and it can only be institutionalized when we shall have signed a comprehensive compact that creates a new relation between us and the central government.

We recognize also that by undertaking joint development projects with government even before a comprehensive compact is signed, we might be putting in jeopardy some critical strategy that has guided our struggle for a long time. We are indeed, threading on uncharted and certainly dangerous path.

But this revolution beyond strategy has been guided by one single principle – sincerity and trust on Allah. Allah says in the Holy Qur’an, Surah Al-Anfal, verse 61; But if they incline to peace, you also incline to it, and (put your) trust in Allah. Verily, He is the All-Hearer, the All-Knower. Beyond the question of strategy, we have always believed in the justness and the legitimacy of our cause. This and the enduring commitment and dedication of our people cannot be defeated by any strategy. It is this thought and the oft repeated pronouncement of sincerity of the President that give us solace in this difficult process. For, indeed, it takes more courage to wage peace than to wage a war.

We appeal then to the international community for patience and understanding. It is our sincere belief that we cannot jump immediately into massive programs for development without the solid foundation of a permanent and durable peace. We cannot mislead you and lure you into investing the hard earned money of your taxpayers into development without the assurance of durable peace. The last thing we wanted to see would be development and infrastructures laid to waste in seconds because of war. Help us achieve then peace and together we can move with confidence towards development.

Thank you and Wassalamu Alaikum Wa Rahmatullahi Wa Barakatoh.

Welcome Address of AL HAJ MURAD EBRAHIM, MILF CHAIRMAN during the GPH-MILF Sajahatra Bangsamoro Launch at Bangsamoro Leadership and Management Institute (BLMI). Camp Darapanan, Sultan Kudarat, Maguindanao on February 11, 2013.



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