July 2, 2012 News: “The government is in full support to the holding of the Bangsamoro Leaders’ Assembly being spearheaded by the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF).”
BGen Gilberto Jose Roa AFP, Chairman of the Government of the Philippines (GPH) – Coordinating Committee on the Cessation of Hostilities (CCCH), made this statement during the coordination meeting with the MILF CCCH held at the headquarters of the International Monitoring Team (IMT) in Cotabato City couple of days ago.
“My principal in Manila and the government peace negotiating panel for the talks with MILF are conveying their full support for the Assembly, Gen Roa said.
Also present during the meeting were IMT Deputy Head of Mission BGen Dato’ Zulkaple, presiding officer, Said Shiek, Chairman of MILF CCCH, Honorable Datu Tocao Mastura CPA, host Mayor of the Assembly being held Camp Darapanan, Sultan Kudarat, Maguindanao, Major Carlos Sol Jr, head of Secretariat of GPH CCCH, representatives from the Steering Committee of the Assembly and high-ranking officials from the 6th Infantry Division, Philippine Army, and Police Regional Office – ARMM.
“I commend both the government and MILF CCCH and the honorable Mayor for the very cordial, jolly and fruitful meeting,” said the IMT Deputy Head of Mission.
“We assure both parties of the full cooperation and assistance of IMT in order to contribute in ensuring the success of the Assembly,” he said.
For his part, Said Shiek said “This Assembly bears the principal intention of consulting the general public, particularly and especially the Bangsamoro constituents, on the status and prospects of the peace process and the negotiations which has been going on for nearly 15 years now. Needless to say, this event, just like the previous general assembly and consultation spearheaded by MILF and participated in by more than a million Bangsamoro people in the years 1997, 2001, 2005 at Simuay and Camp Darapanan, Sultan Kudarat shall be historic, momentous and crucial. The matter of consultation with our constituents on the peace process is fundamental but what’s more important, in effect, is the accordance of the decisive mandate to the MILF in its positions and decisions to take on the current peace negotiations with the government under President Noynoy Aquino’s administration. This Bangsamoro Leaders’ Assembly is also expected to be participated in by at least half a million Bangsamoro people from all over Mindanao and Manila.”
The guests of honors during this program, wherein some are to give messages, include the Government Peace Negotiating Panel headed by Dean Marvic Leonen and Secretary Teresita “Ging” Deles of OPAPP, Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), Malaysian Third Party Facilitator, International Monitoring Team (IMT), International Contact Group (ICG), ambassadors and members of the diplomatic community, United Nations Agencies, international donor agencies, international nongovernment organizations, local government chief executives, members of the Philippine Congress (lower house), MGen Rey Ardo of 6th ID, Philippine Army, PNP – ARMM Regional Director, and civil society organizations.
The representatives from the 6th Infantry Division and PNP - ARMM committed the cooperation of their respective commanding generals for the peaceful and successful outcome of the assembly.
The local government of Sultan Kudarat and 6th Infantry Division, Philippine Army joined hands in putting up a Joint Public Assistance at the Capitol of Maguindanao in Sultan Kudarat. The MILF warmly welcome this initiative.
The CCCHs and IMT vowed to mobilize all its mechanisms on the ground such as the Local Monitoring Teams (LMTs), Joint Ceasefire Monitoring Posts (JCMPs), and in tandem with the GPH and MILF Adhoc Joint Action Group (AHJAG) in support for the Assembly.
A Command Group will be operationalized by the government headed by the GPH CCCH serving as the focal coordination and communication link for the MILF CCCH.