Saturday Sep, 30 2023 03:40:14 AM

DND, AFP committed to preserving peace in Bangsamoro

Mindanao Peace Process • 07:00 AM Thu Mar 30, 2023
Priam Nepomuceno
DND chief Carlito Galvez Jr. (File photo)

MANILA – The Department of National Defense (DND) and the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) are committed to keeping the peace in the Bangsamoro.

DND chief Carlito Galvez Jr. made this commitment during the 9th anniversary of the signing of the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro (CAB) on March 27.

Galvez, a former Presidential Peace Adviser, guaranteed that the DND and AFP shall be the vanguards of peace and security in the Bangsamoro.

He also said they would not "allow the spoilers of peace" to negate the gains achieved.

"We assure (our people) that the DND and AFP will support the President’s guidance to protect and sustain the peace process,” he added in a statement forwarded to reporters Tuesday.

Galvez also emphasized the DND’s full support for the CAB’s implementation so that the dividends of peace and development would continue to be felt.

“The security sector shall help maintain an environment that is conducive to peace and development as the Bangsamoro gears up for its first regular regional election in 2025, which is only two years from now,” he said.

President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. on Monday said his administration “will not waver” on its commitment to fully implement the Bangsamoro peace agreements.

“Under our administration, the Political and Normalization Tracks of the peace agreement continue to gain momentum. Our partners in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) continue to deliver on their commitments in both tracks with the recent passing of the critical Bangsamoro Electoral Code. We in the national government will do our part to fulfill our commitments under the peace agreements and see their full implementation. We shall not waver from this,“ the Chief Executive said in a video message. “For nine years the peace pact has stood firm and the Bangsamoro people have thrived and flourished. We shall ensure that they continue to do so.”

The government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) signed the landmark peace deal in 2014.

The deal, which was touted by both local and international peace watchers as a milestone in the country’s peace process, is being implemented by the Marcos administration.

Less than two months in office, Marcos has demonstrated his commitment to the Bangsamoro peace process, where he extended the term of office of the members of the Bangsamoro Transition Authority (BTA) to ensure the passage of the crucial codes.

The passage is the foundation of the parliamentary-form BARMM. Among the crucial codes is the Bangsamoro Electoral Code that was recently passed in the BARMM.

The electoral code will lay down the first election in the BARMM in 2025.

The President also issued Executive Order (EO) 7 to amend EO 79 to strengthen the Inter-Cabinet Cluster Mechanism on Normalization (ICCMN).

Marcos designated no less than his Special Assistant to the President Secretary Antonio Ernesto F. Lagdameo as co-chair with the Secretary of the Office of the Presidential Adviser on Peace, Reconciliation and Unity (OPAPRU)

Meanwhile, acting Presidential Peace Adviser Secretary Isidro L. Purisima lauded the President’s determination to complete the implementation of the signed Bangsamoro peace agreement.

“On behalf of the men and women of the OPAPRU, I extend our deepest appreciation to our President for his heartwarming message, as we all joined the Bangsamoro people and the Filipino nation in celebrating the 9th Anniversary of the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro,” Purisima said. “Rest assured that under your administration’s banner of unity, the OPAPRU will ensure to carry out your directive of fulfilling the national government’s commitments under all Bangsamoro peace agreements.”

He also cited significant progress made since the signing of the CAB but maintained that more work needs to be done.

"This occasion is therefore both a celebration of the milestones we have achieved so far, and at the same time, a reminder of the tasks we still have to accomplish in light of the challenges we continue to face,” Purisima said.

Meanwhile, BARMM Chief Minister Ahod "Murad" B. Ebrahim, who also chairs the MILF, called on the peace stakeholders to continue to support the Bangsamoro peace process.

“Let us seize this opportunity to learn from one another, and work towards a better future for the Bangsamoro people. On the 9th anniversary of the signing of the CAB, may we all be reminded that this political settlement is not the end of the Bangsamoro narrative but rather a continuation of our lifelong quest for justice, peace, and progress,” he said. (PNA)

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