Joint statement of the GPH and MILF implementing panels –

The following is the joint statement of the GPH and MILF implementing panels done on August 14 at Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

The respective Implementing Panels for the GPH-MILF Bangsamoro Peace Agreement of the Government of the Philippines (GPH) and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) were formally launched on 13 August 2016 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Deputy Minister of Defense Dato' Sri Mohd Johari bin Baharum graced the event in representation of His Excellency Prime Minister Dato' Sri Mohd Najib bin Tun Haji Abdul Razak. Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process Jesus G. Dureza and MILF Chairman Al Haj Murad Ebrahim were also present. The Philippine Delegation consisted of House Speaker Pantaleon D. Alvarez, Department of Foreign Affairs Secretary Perfecto R. Yasay, Jr., Department of the Interior and Local Government Secretary Ismael D. Sueno, National Security Adviser Hermogenes C. Esperon, Jr., House Majority Floor Leader Rodolfo C. FariAas, Philippine Ambassador to Malaysia Eduardo Malaya, and Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao Governor Mujiv S. Hataman.

The formal launch was also witnessed by the different stakeholders composing the global partners for peace. The members of the GPH and MILF Implementing Panels were introduced during the formal launch.

The Parties opened the first meeting of the Implementing Panels cordially and with enthusiasm to pursue approaches in forging a just and enduring peace in conflict-affected areas in Mindanao.

The Parties agreed on the substantive aspects of the peace and development roadmap. To ensure inclusivity in the implementation of the GPH-MILF Peace Agreement, the Parties agreed to increase the membership of the Bangsamoro Transition Commission (BTC), with 11 members to be nominated by the MILF and 10 by the GPH. For this purpose, the Panels recommended the issuance of a revised Executive Order on the Bangsamoro Transition Commission by the Philippine President.

In keeping with their firm resolve to build on the gains of the peace process so far, the Parties committed to work collaboratively and cooperatively to ensure efficient and inclusive implementation of the GPH-MILF signed agreements. The Parties committed to sustain trust and confidence between the GPH and the MILF through continued implementation of deliverables under the Program for Normalization, including the Bangsamoro Normalization Trust Fund.

In the interest of ensuring efficient and effective implementation of the peace agreement, the parties agreed to meet regularly in the Philippines. The parties further agreed on the general principles of the Term of Reference of the GPH and MILF Peace Implementing Panels, details of which shall be further discussed.

The Parties expressed their appreciation to President Rodrigo Roa Duterte for his steadfast commitment to a just and lasting peace in Mindanao, to His Excellency Malaysian Prime Minister Dato' Sri Mohd Najib bin Tun Haji Abdul Razak for his continued support to the GPH-MILF Peace Process, and to the members of the MILF Central COmmittee headed by Chairman Al Haj Murad Ebrahim, for their continued commitment in pursuing a just conclusion to the Bangsamoro peace process.

The Parties also thanked the members of the International Contact Group, the Third Party Monitoring Team, the Independent Decommissioning Body, and the Transitional Justice and Reconciliation Commission, and other development partners for their solidarity and unwavering commitment to the Bangsamoro peace process. The Parties especially thanked Tengku Dato' Ab Ghafar Tengku Mohamed for his excellent facilitation and guidance in the conduct of the formal launching and first meeting of the Implementing Panels.

Source: Philippine Information Agency