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Bangsamoro must prove itself better than ARMM–British envoy

/ 05:43 PM October 18, 2014
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President Aquino and Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak (center) applaud as peace panel chairs Miriam Coronel-Ferrer of the Philippine government and Mohagher Iqbal of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front exchange copies of the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro that they signed on March 27, 2014, in Malacañang. LYN RILLON/INQUIRER FILE PHOTO

COTABATO CITY – The proposed Bangsamoro regional setup for Mindanao must demonstrate its capability to be a substantial improvement over the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao if it wants mass-based support, British Ambassador Asif Ahmad said Friday.

Speaking to reporters in the course of his visit to the ARMM, Ahmad said the establishment of the new political entity would make no difference unless it is able to provide for such basic needs as livelihood, education, food, shelter, transport, communications, infrastructure, and security for its people.

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British Ambassador to the Philippines Asif Ahmad. INQUIRER FILE PHOTO

British Ambassador to the Philippines Asif Ahmad. INQUIRER FILE PHOTO

“Let’s make use of the gains achieved in the peace talks by implementing the provisions therein for the greater good,” he said.

Ahmad said the success of the Bangsamoro’s enhanced autonomy could also serve as a model for other regions espousing autonomy and federalism.

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In a media statement furnished the Inquirer, presidential peace adviser Teresita Quintos-Deles said the recent activation of the Bangsamoro Coordination Forum (BCF), which involves the MILF and the Moro National Liberation Front, was a welcome development that would ensure the success of the Bangsamoro entity.

“This is a positive and very welcome development especially at this juncture of the peace process when the Bangsamoro Basic Law is being deliberated in Congress. We are talking of the same territory and the same people; as such it is good to know that the MILF and MNLF have agreed to consolidate their efforts for peace and development so that all of these can be integrated in the BBL,” Deles said.

The BCF, which aims to provide a venue to thresh out issues and concerns confronting the Bangsamoro people, including finding common ground for the peace agreements signed separately by the MNLF and the MILF with the government, was put up by the Organization of Islamic Cooperation following its latest meeting with representatives of the two erstwhile rebel groups in Jeddah last June.

It was agreed under the terms of the BCF that the MILF and the MNLF would consolidate their efforts “towards achieving the Bangsamoro people’s aspiration for a just political solution and lasting peace and inclusive development; and conduct consultations with other sectors of the Bangsamoro society including the Ulama.”

“We look forward to the participation of both the MILF and MNLF in the establishment of the Bangsamoro,” Deles said.

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TAGS: ARMM, Asif Ahmad, Bangsamoro, Britain, MILF, Mindanao, MNLF, Teresita Quintos-Deles
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