Friday, January 24, 2014

IMT, OPAPP tellMILF PolCom in Zamboanganot to put-up office in the city

From the Website of MILF

IMT, OPAPP tellMILF PolCom in Zamboanganot to put-up office in the city

The International Monitoring Team (IMT) Team 3 underMalaysian Army Col. ZolHashim and the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP) toldon January 18, a Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) group headed by JursalinMursalun and Alex Banis to forego with putting-up an office in this city ahead of the signing of a comprehensive peace agreement with the government. The group has about 3,000 members in the area.
In a dialogue at the gymnasium in Barangay Cawit, a coastal village west of the city proper, the group was also told by the IMT that any structure set up before the signing of the accord is not sanctioned and illegal. Herequested the MILF group to dismantle the structure it had put up in Barangay Cawit.

“To the MILF on the ground, please do not do anything foolish that may hinder, jeopardize the peace process. Don’t do anything please, unless this thing (peace agreement) will be signed, then let us wait for the letter of instruction from them (central committee),” Hashim told the group of Mursalun.

According to a report by Philstar on January 18, the plan to establish theBangsamoro political office was learned after the group led by Mursalun submitted a letter of request to Barangay Cawit chairman Rey Modillas.

Modillas immediately sought clarification with the government’s Ad Hoc Joint Action Group (AHJAG), if the plan of the MILF group has legal basis and sanctioned by the MILF leadership.

Maj. Abe Sirajan, AHJAG team leader who was tasked by the OPAPP to look into the matter, said the MILF Central Committee has not sanctioned the setting up of a Bangsamoro office here.

Philstar quoted Sirajan saying the MILF leadership also reiterated that it respects the stand of the Zamboanga City government against being part of the Bangsamoro entity.

“Clearly, they have no instruction and the establishment of the Bangsamoro office was not sanctioned,” he said.

Mayor Ma. Isabelle Climaco-Salazar reminded the MILF group that the city is not part of the Framework Agreement of the Bangsamoro or other forms of autonomy. 

Salazar urged the MILF leadership to inform their members what the peace process is all about to prevent them from making misrepresentations.

The same day, almost the whole members of the City Council including the lady mayor took the local residents of Barangay Cawit by surprise when they conducted ocular inspection on light material poorly-built structure by MILFZamboanga City Political Committee members purposely as a rendezvous for discussions on matters relating to Bangsamoro struggle and the peace process. The local government then coordinated with the IMT team and the dialogue ensued. The IMT chief reminded them that the Comprehensive Peace Agreement is not yet signed and cautioning them not to make any unnecessary movement perchance could derail the Peace process which is now in its crucial stage. The dialogue concluded harmoniously. As gleaned from the spontaneous reaction of authorities, the local government cannot afford to allow any form of adventurism to take place in this once city of peace loving residents who in September last year  experienced traumatic conditions that affected more than one hundred thousands of people many of whom are still languishing in evacuation centers.
Hashim also saw the need for the MILF to inform its members of the current peace negotiations with the government.“There appears to be misconception on the part of some members on the ground due to lack of information,” Hashim said.

MILF Website

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