GPH-MILF set up joint peace corridor

In speech on Monday (June 02), Ms. Irene Santiago, Chair of the GPH Peace Implementing Panel said that,  President Duterte approved the creation of a Peace Corridor, a safe and secure corridor for women, men and children fleeing the crisis in Marawi as well as a reliable space for humanitarian assistance to pass through.

On behalf of Secretary Jesus Dureza, I am pleased to announce that today the Peace Corridor has been set up by a composite team of the AFP, PNP and MILF who are, as we speak, travelling from Malabang to Marawi to set up the Joint Coordinating, Monitoring and Assistance Centre or JCMAC. There will be two Centres, one in Marawi and one in Malabang and a mobile centre plying the corridor, Santiago said.


The Peace Corridor is being jointly implemented by the Implementing Panels of the Government of the Philippines and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front. It is a testament to how far the Bangsamoro peace process has come and the partnership that has been established between the government and the MILF.


More than 300 trained members of the Joint Peace and Security Teams are being deployed throughout the length of the corridor and will be augmented as the need arises.


The government and MILF Peace Panels are supervising the peace corridor. On the part of the government, we have designated Assistant Secretary Dickson Hermoso, a retired colonel of the Philippine Army, who has been a pioneer in setting up this effective ceasefire mechanism, tried and tested for more than 12 years now.


The JCMACs will be cooperating with the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao or ARMM which is tasked with delivering humanitarian assistance in these areas.


It is significant to point out that Malabang is considered the oldest settlement in mainland Mindanao. Malabang comes from the Maranao word “mala” meaning big and “bang” meaning call to prayer. It is where the Arab missionary, Sharif Kabunsuan, arrived in the 14th century to Islamize the people of mainland Mindanao.


Malabang is also known in history as a place that resisted conquest from the Spanish to the Americans to the Japanese.


At the Monday meeting, President Duterte assured the MILF and the Bangsamoro people that he will honor all signed peace agreements and implement the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro starting with the passage of the Bangsamoro Basic Law.


Santiago also reported that the Bangsamoro Transition Commission is holding plenary sessions in Davao to finalize the draft law which will be submitted to the President by mid-June.

The Peace Corridor is a manifestation of the shared vision of government and MILF of what our society should look like — one that is open, inclusive, compassionate, just, and cooperative. This is the complete opposite of the kind of society the terrorists want in Marawi — a closed, isolationist, violent, ruthless society ruled by fear with total disregard for human life and the integrity of our government and our diverse Philippine society.


The Peace Corridor is more than a safe passage way for people and goods. In working jointly to deal with this humanitarian crisis, the government and the MILF are also building a major corridor to peace.