Updates Per Peace Table

milf

ARMM local execs back meaningful autonomy for Bangsamoro

Kuala Lumpur, May 30 – Local chief executives of the five provinces of the Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) on Tuesday expressed their support to the meaningful autonomy that is being pursued by the Government of the Philippines (GPH) and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) as they move forward with the substantive issues on the negotiating table.

The ARMM governors joined the 28th GPH-MILF formal exploratory talks in this city to observe the negotiation process between the two parties.

“Our position is one. We want meaningful autonomy under the Constitution,” said Sulu Governor Abdusakur Tan.

Joining Tan were Maguindanao Gov. Esmael "Toto" Mangudadatu, Lanao del Sur Gov. Mamintal Adiong, Basilan Gov. Jum Akbar and Tawi-Tawi Gov. Sadikul Sahali.

The local officials are mindful that the GPH and the MILF have embarked on the substantive agenda, such as wealth and power sharing between the national government and the envisioned new autonomous political entity (NPE) that will replace the ARMM, following the signing of the Decision Points on Principles during their last round of negotiations in April.

The government's peace negotiations with the MILF are guided by the President's directive to work within the flexibilities of the Constitution; learn from the lessons and experiences of the past administrations; deliver viable political, economic, and social commitments in a peace agreement; and the principles of transparency and inclusivity.

In this view, Tan further underscored the need for a plebiscite. “We aim to uphold democracy. Even in ARMM they say democratize governance,” he added.

Meanwhile, GPH peace panel chair Marvic Leonen emphasized during public consultations that the peace negotiations are conducted within the framework of the Constitution and the principle of  “consent of the governed.”

He explained that results of the peace talks will go through a political process (in the different branches of government and in the national and local governments).

Parallel to this, the five governors said they recognize the primacy of the peace process and the need to “accompany its political process.”

Tan shared that all the five provincial governors of the current autonomous region in the south are “optimistic of the efforts of both the GPH and MILF to achieve just and lasting peace.”