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Source: GMA news

The Moro National Liberation Front and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front have agreed to coordinate and find common ground in the separate peace agreements that the groups have with the Philippine government, the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process said.

In a press statement, OPAPP said the two groups have formally activated the Bangsamoro Coordination Forum as a platform to “coordinate their movements toward achieving the aspiration of the Bangsamoro people towards just and lasting peace, and peaceful resolution of their problems.”

Ambassador Sayyid Kassim El-Masri, Organization on Islamic Cooperation (OIC) special envoy, who informed the Philippine government of the agreement said it was signed by him as OIC envoy, Mohagher Iqbal as representative of the MILF and Randolph Parcasio as representative of the MNLF.

OPAPP, citing El-Masri’s meeting report, said both groups recognize “that unity is indispensable to the success of the Bangsamoro struggle and that there are no basic differences between their fronts as both are seeking to achieve peace, justice and fair solution to the problem facing the Bangsamoro people.”

Presidental peace adviser Teresita Quintos-Deles called the development a positive and welcome one especially since Congress is currently studying the draft Bangsamoro Basic Law that will create a new political entity to replace the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao.

“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,” she said.

The Bangsamoro Coordination Forum

The BCF is expected to provide a venue to find common ground between the 1976 Tripoli Agreement – 1996 Final Peace Agreement with the MNLF and the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro (CAB) that the MILF signed with the government in March.

It is also expected to serve as a venue to “coordinate the efforts of the MILF and MNLF in order to consolidate their efforts towards achieving the Bangsamoro people’s aspiration for just political solution and lasting peace and inclusive development,” OPAPP said.

The BCF will also conduct consultations with other sectors of Bangsamoro society.

The 20-member panel will have 10 representatives from each party and are supposed to meet every three months.

The first meeting is set for Oct.26-27 and will be presided over by OIC Secretary General Iyad bin Amin Madani or Egyptian Ambassador Mahmoud Mostafa, current chair of the OIC-Peace Committee on Southern Philippines (PCSP).

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