MILF: Whoever wins the elections must honor the CAB

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Cotabato City –“Whoever wins the elections must honor the CAB and place it among the top of his or her agenda to ensure that everyone’s obligations are fulfilled,” Moro Islamic Liberation Front Chairman (MILF) Chairman Al Haj Murad Ebrahim said in a statement read by Muhammad Amin, MILF Central Committee Secretary, during the commemoration of the second year of the Signing of the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro (CAB) on March 28 held in this city.

Inked on March 27, 2014, the CAB is the conclusion of the 17-year peace negotiations between the Government of the Philippines (GPH) and the MILF aimed at ending the decades of conflict between the Bangsamoro people and the national government.

The peace agreement embodies the mutually agreed resolutions to the Bangsamoro question particularly the right to self-determination. It addresses the legitimate grievance of the Bangsamoro people who have been suffering from decades of armed conflict.

One of the important provisions of the CAB is the enactment of Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) that will provide the establishment of an autonomous Bangsamoro government equipped with more political and fiscal powers.

The Lower House adjourned its February session without passing the BBL that brought disappointment to the entire MILF membership and the Bangsamoro people in general.

“He or she (next president) must recognize that while the risk of failure is high, so are the costs of failure,” Murad’s statement continues. The MILF Chair said the CAB is a good start to guide the incoming administration who will replace the Aquino government.

The new president who will win the May 9 national elections will take the reign to administer the country after taking oath of office by June 30 this year.

Murad stressed that the MILF will continue to ask government to comply with its unilateral obligation to enact a law that would give life and realization to the letter and spirit of the CAB.
He reaffirmed the MILF position that “anything below the existing status quo is objectionable to the MILF.”

“We need to assert the CAB and its implementation, which ensure the most reasonable framework for a sustainable basis for peace, stability and development.” Murad said.
He also calls the Bangsamoro to stand up and stand strong for peace and urge to observe steadfast and the need to solidify as united Bangsamoro struggle with a reminder that, “The greatest interest of the Bangsamoro is our primordial concern.” Murad said.

Present in the event were Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process Sec. Teresita Quintos-Deles, GPH Peace Panel Chair Miriam Coronel-Ferrer, and MILF Peace Panel Chair Mohagher Iqbal.
Stakeholders of the GPH-MILF peace process comprised of peace advocates, local officials, MILF officials, peace process mechanisms, donor agencies and media personalities were present in the occasion.

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