Philippines

Secretary General Meets Leader of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front

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The Secretary General of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), Mr. Iyad Ameen Madani received on Sunday 28 February 2016, Alhaj Murad Ebrahim, Chairman of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF). The meeting came after the severe setback to the peace process due to the failure of the Philippine Congress to adopt the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL). The Secretary General expressed his deep disappointment over the non-passage of the BBL which is a major step towards the final resolution of the Bangsamoro question. The Secretary General urged all parties to remain fully committed to the process and to stay the cause of peace. He urged the incoming administration to re-file the BBL as originally agreed upon and ensure its early passage. Hajj Murad assured the Secretary General that, in spite of the great disappointment, the MILF would continue to uphold the peace process, and would continue to call on the Bangsamoro people to remain patient and to rally behind the full implementation of the Comprehensive Agreement on Bangsamoro (CAB). The Secretary General welcomed this continued firm commitment towards the peace process and towards sustaining the ceasefire and avoiding resorting to violence. At the same time, the Secretary General warned of the adverse effect of the delay of adopting the BBL or adopting a modified weak version of it, on human, security and developmental aspect of the region. He also warned against the risk of worsening the situation that could allow the spread of violent extremism. A failure of peace process could adversely affect the good relation existing between the Philippines and the Muslim world. The Secretary General reiterated the firm support of the OIC to the peace process and the full implementation of CAB and all related agreements, namely the 1976 Tripoli Agreement and the 1996 Jakarta Agreement, and welcomed the commitment of Malaysian government to continue its support for the peace process and its willingness to work with the next administration for that purpose. The Secretary General also called upon the international community, particularly those involved in the peace process and those that witnessed the signing of the CAB, to urge the incoming administration to save this process and guarantee the passage of the BBL as originally agreed upon. The Secretary General urged the Bangsamoro people to unify, consolidate and converge together towards the advancement of the peace process and the final resolution of the conflict in Mindanao. He further urged the leaders of the Bangsamoro people in particular, the MILF and the MNLF to utilize the existing mechanism, Bangsamoro Coordinating Forum (BCF) to achieve a more unified position and a more coherent consolidated and sustainable cooperation for the benefit of the Bangsamoro people. The Secretary General urged the rest of the peace loving Philippines people to stand by their brethren in the south in their struggle to support the peace process.