IMT urges Zambo village residents to be strong in pursuit of peace

Zamboanag City --- A high-ranking official of the International Monitoring Team (IMT) told residents of Purok Kasanyangan of Barangay Santa Catalina in this city to adhere to the rule of law and be resilient in the quest for long lasting peace in Mindanao.

In his second engagement with Moro community leaders on September 14, IMT Team- 3 Leader Colonel Mohammad Zakri bin Abu encouraged them to actively advocate and support the peace endeavor being forged by GPH and MILF for it will redound to long lasting peace and development in Mindanao.

“In the pursuit of genuine peace, you should always exercise patience and steadfast and never create any unfavorable acts that may derail its right course since the peace agreement is now approaching to its finishing-line desirably” he said. 

The half-day meeting was also attended by the Moro leaders from nearby barangays who expressed their profoundest gratitude for the IMT initiative as unprecedented gesture of goodwill since it was their first time to be visited by IMT officials. 

Some officials from MILF- Ad Hoc Joint Action Group (AHJAG) and a NGO accompanied the IMT and facilitated the meeting that took place in a private residence. 

Hadji Basaron Kamlon of the MILF-AHJAG presented the purpose of IMT visitation and other aspects related to IMT, AHJAG and other security components and its mechanisms that are part of GPH-MILF Peace agreement. 

Tirso Tahir from the Bangsamoro Leadership and Management Institute (BLMI) who was among the facilitators introduced the visiting officials and the village Leaders as well and also grateful to IMT officials for their unwavering support since then as stipulated in the Terms of Reference (TOR) to monitor the peace agreement entered between the GPH and MILF. 

During the course of dialogue, questions and answers were raised on security aspects of the Moros living in Zamboanga City since it is outside the Bangsamoro core territory.  Both IMT and AHJAG Officials cordially clarified the issues based on the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro (CAB). 

IMT Team-3 area of coverage includes Zamboanga Peninsula, the Island provinces and cities therein. It based in Western Mindanao Command (WesMinCom) under IMT Batch-11. 

The mandate of IMT is to monitor the implementation of the Tripoli Agreement on Peace between the GPH and the MILF of 22 June 2001 and its Implementing Guidelines on the Security Aspect, Implementing Guidelines on the Humanitarian, Rehabilitation and Development Aspects and Agreement on the Civilian Protection Component (CPC).