The Philippine Government (GPH) and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) peace panels are together since yesterday in a two-day special meeting in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, following the failure of passing by the Congress the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL), the primary legislative measure needed for the conclusion of the long-drawn peace negotiations between the State and Moro representative. This is the first official meeting between the parties after a long period characterized only by a number of bilateral meetings as well as the work of the various commissions, after a difficult and dark year not favorable to the peace process, which has followed the tragic and daunting incident - strategically organized - of Mamasapano of January 25th, 2015. For this reason the today framework is absolutely not positive and, in addition, we must take in consideration that we are three months before the presidential elections of May 9th. However the representatives of the two Panels have declared their renewed commitment to the implementation of the peace process starting from what is contained in the text of the Comprehensive Agreement, signed in the relevant event of Malacanan, on March 27th 2014, a historic turning point for the construction of peace. In fact every aspect (normalization; socio-economic development; and so on…) could be implemented except the “decommissioning” that could take place only after the passage of BBL. Government chief negotiator Miriam Coronel-Ferrer and Mohagher Iqbal, head of MILF’s panel, were straightforward in saying that: “MILF and Government shall jointly find ways and means to address this dangerous situation and avoid actions that may increase any frustrations. They emphasize that both they must provide people hope that there is the chance that the Bangsamoro law shall be passed whoever the next President would be.” Although the continuation of the peace process is essentially tied to the decision of the new presidency and of the new legislative power, however all the representatives of the Organizations present at the meeting - including the President of the Independent Decommissioning Body and Head of Delegation of the European Union - have declared their determination in supporting the peace process in the future too. After the elections of May most of the players in the peace process, particularly the GPH members as well as the Commissions established in recent years, surely will change. The MILF Panel members - according to their own internal decisions - and the ICG members will remain.
In the framework of the works the members of the International Contact Group have shown their commitment to the peace process. Among them, Alberto Quattrucci, on behalf of the Community of Sant'Egidio, said: “There is a need to broaden the joint work, we need to involve an increasing number of actors, at international and local level, and they can become authentic workers at the construction site of the peace... the Community of Sant’Egidio will continue and strengthen its efforts in the promotion of meetings and conferences – at the international and local level – able to collect all the different energies of peace... let me stress – in this spirit - the importance and original contribution to the Peace Process coming from the religions… interreligious dialogue promotes increased trust, the overcoming of barriers, increased familiarity, greater appreciation for the other… please don’t hesitate to ask our Community what could be more useful to do for the cause of Peace in Mindanao.”