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PH, MILF resume talks in Malaysia

The Philippine government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front formally resumed talks by launching the implementing phase of the Bangsamoro peace accord yesterday.

The two-day meeting kicked off at the Malaysian capital Kuala Lumpur, where representatives from the Philippine government arrived in full force.

Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process Jesus Dureza hailed the entering of the implementing phase of the peace process as he emphasized the Duterte administration’s commitment to implement all the peace agreements entered into by the Philippine government.

He also said that the Bangsamoro enabling law will be in sync with the proposed shift to a federal form of government.

“We are pleased to be back in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia to launch a crucial phase of the Bangsamoro peace process – the implementing phase,” Dureza said in a statement.

The Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process head said both parties have agreed that the negotiations phase is over and now it is time to implement what they have agreed to do. “So today we are officially launching the implementing phase of the Bangsamoro peace agreements between the Government of the Philippines and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front,” he stated.

With Dureza in Kuala Lumpur are House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez and House Majority Floor Leader Rodolfo Fariñas. He said their presence is a testament that the Congress is a strong partner for peace not just for the Bangsamoro and Mindanao but for the entire Philippines.

“By being present on Day One, we are assured that the Executive and the Legislative branches are both on the same page as we implement our peace agreements,” Dureza said.

According to Dureza, the congressional leaders will make sure that the Bangsamoro enabling law will be in sync with the proposed shift to a federal system of government.

“In fact, we are envisioning that the new Bangsamoro government entity can be the pilot of a federal state that embodies meaningful autonomy. With their support, we have no doubt we will see an early enactment of an inclusive Bangsamoro enabling law,” he said.

Also present are key members of the President’s Cabinet – Foreign Affairs Secretary Perfecto Yasay Jr., Interior and Local Government Secretary Mike Sueno, and National Security Adviser Hermogenes Esperon Jr.. Dureza said their presence show how committed this administration is to implement all government programs using the peace lens so peace dividends can be felt on the ground immediately.(Elena L. Aben)

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