OIC Secretary General Madani to visit Manila to help in GPH-MILF peace process

  • Sunday, Apr 19 2015
  • Written by  Arland Abubakkar

A file photo of Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) Secretary General Iyad Ameen Madani attending a news conference in Moscow, Russia on February 26, 2015 

THE Secretary General of the powerful 57-member Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) is coming to Manila to discuss with the government officials the issue of the peace process with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF). 

His Excellency Iyad Ameen Madani, the first editor in chief of the Saudi Gazette will be flying to the country after conferring with Malaysian officials in Kuala Lumpur, Bernama reported.

Madani is meeting with ranking Malaysian officials including Prime Minister Najib Razak and will “seek Malaysia’s advice regarding the status of the peace agreement in the southern Philippines. The GPH-MILF Peace process is brokered by Malaysia.

Bernama, the Official news agency of Malaysia said he and Razak would discuss “the unresolved issue, especially after the killing of 44 police commandos in an encounter with Moro rebels in Maguindanao on Jan 25”.

“Since the Malaysian prime minister spearheaded this peace agreement, we want to listen to him on this and on the current status of the agreement, and where he sees a role for us,” Bernama quoted Madani in a report on his visit to Kuala Lumpur.

Malaysia has been acting as facilitator for the peace process between Manila and the MILF since 2001.

In the same interview with Bernama, Madani acknowledged that the Mamasapano encounter has affected the peace process.

“We think the process has slowed down a little bit and that is why we are involving ourselves more actively, so that perhaps we can help the process move at the right speed,” he was further quoted as saying.

Madani also admitted that the peace process should hurdle other challenges.

“One is with the Philippine government. If there is already an agreement, they should live up to that commitment.

“Secondly, we would like the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) and MILF to look at things in a similar manner because if they go separate ways, it would certainly weaken the outcome,” he said.

But Madani also credited OIC efforts at bringing together various stakeholders in the peace process.

“We in the OIC have managed to bring them together and we have established the Bangsamoro forum, with representatives from both sides. That formula is producing fruit and they are closer to each other now,” he added.

In 2012, the OIC was granted “observer status” in the peace talks with the MILF after both the government and the MILF acknowledged its active involvement in the efforts to restore peace in the Philippine south.

The Framework Agreement on the Bangsamoro (FAB), and the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro (CAB) between the government of President Benigno Aquino III and the MILF were eventually signed in 2012, and 2014, respectively, but the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) crafted by the Bangsamoro Transition Commission (BTC) is still pending in congress due to the tragic Mamasapano incident.

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