Wednesday, 19 January 2011 14:16
The Philippine Center for Islam and Democracy (PCID) welcomes the two recent developments in both the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) peace talks.
Congratulating the government-MNLF legal panels for initialing a draft bill that seeks to amend RA 1954, PCID stated the law was in theory an act to "strengthen and expand" the Organic Act for ARMM by amending the original Autonomy Act.
While the criticism leveled against the inefficiency and alleged corruption in ARMM has foundation, it is also true that the failure of the regional government can be attributed to weaknesses in RA 9054 that provided for what others called as 'paper autonomy.
"We hope that the amendments to RA9054 will rectify the problematic provisions of the autonomy law specially those relating to natural resources and devolution of powers to the regional government," said Amin Rasul, PCID Lead Convenor.
Ms. Rausl likewise lauded the efforts of the peace panels of the MILF and the government in dispelling the negative impressions related to the start of the formal talks as well as the controversy surrounding the choice of facilitator by concluding a very successful informal meeting that took place in Kuala Lumpur on January 13, 2011.
"We welcome as positive development the agreement reached during the meeting on the extensions of the mandate of the International Monitoring Team, which is part of the ceasefire mechanism of both the government and the MILF, and the Ad Hoc Joint Action Group,""she said.
PCID is also elated over the statement issued by both panels that "they remain committed to move forward in these negotiations".
While many challenges lie ahead, Ms Rasul said they consider these developments as very encouraging and a positive start for the year 2011 in terms of forging genuine peace in Mindanao.
"We urge the general public, the politicians and government officials, and the media to support the peace process," Rasul said.
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