New EO starts Bangsamoro peace deal normalization process

MANILA As part of efforts to attain lasting peace and development in Mindanao, President Rodrigo Duterte has issued an executive order (EO) implementing the Annex on Normalization under the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro (CAB).

Under EO 79, signed by Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea on April 24, the President recognized the need to fully implement the various components of the normalization process and capitalize on existing mechanisms and framework under the Annex on Normalization.

The National Government recognizes that normalization is a process whereby communities can achieve their desired quality of life within a peaceful and deliberate society, the order read.

To this end, the National Government adopts a Normalization Program that is multi-faceted and covers the aspects of security, socio-economic development, sustainable livelihood, political participation, confidence-building, and transitional justice and reconciliation, it added.

The EO also creates an Inter-Cabinet Cluster Mechanism on Normalization (ICCMN) to ensure timely, appropriate and efficient delivery of the Normalization Program.

As for powers and functions, the ICCMN will coordinate and mobilize relevant government agencies in implementing the various aspects of the Normalization Program, in accordance with their respective functions and mandates

It will also provide policy advice, further support and other necessary input or assistance as to the appropriate modality and mechanism for the timely and smooth implementation of the different components of the Normalization Program.

Moreover, the ICCMN will also supervise and monitor all socio-economic interventions under the Normalization Program that are implemented through relevant government agencies.

Under ICCMN, a Working Group on Vulnerable Sectors composed of relevant government agencies will be created to recommend a set of interventions for vulnerable sectors, including indigenous peoples, internally-displaced persons, widows, orphans, people with disabilities, detainees and their families.

The ICCMN shall be composed of representatives from the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP) and the Office of the Cabinet Secretary (OCS) with a rank not lower than an Undersecretary, as co-chairpersons.

Members of the ICCMN shall consist of representatives from 17 agencies with ranks not lower than an Assistant Secretary or its equivalent.

The Order shall take effect immediately upon the completion of its publication in the Official Gazette or a newspaper of general circulation.

The Annex on Normalization, signed in 2014, is an integral part of the CAB because it provides for a process to ensure human security in the Bangsamoro; and enable the communities to achieve their desired quality of life through the pursuit of sustainable livelihood and political participation within a peaceful and deliberative society.

On March 27, 2017, the government of the Philippines and Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) signed the CAB, which marked the end of 17 years of negotiations between the parties, and provided a negotiated political settlement for the attainment of a just and lasting peace and development in the Bangsamoro.

On April 29, members of the Philippine government and the MILF Peace Implementing Panels signed a joint statement reaffirming their commitment to fully implement the five-year-old CAB and other signed peace pacts in a special meeting in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

New Philippine government Implementing Panel chair Gloria J. Mercado, MILF Implementing Panel chair Mohagher Iqbal and Malaysia facilitator Dato' Kamarudin bin Mustafa signed the joint statement.

Presidential Peace Adviser Carlito G. Galvez Jr. graced the event as he highlighted achievements made in the Bangsamoro peace process under the leadership of Philippine President Rodrigo Roa Duterte.

I would like to express my extreme happiness at the significant progress we have achieved in implementing the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro or the CAB that was signed between the Government of the Philippines and the MILF five years ago, Galvez said.

Galvez said the national government, under the Duterte administration, is seriously committed to the full implementation of the Bangsamoro peace agreements. (PNA)

Source: Philippines News Agency