Tripartite body set to ink MOU to review ARMM Organic Law

March 22, 2010 11:45 pm 

By Ben Cal

MANILA, March 22 — The Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GRP) and the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) initialed over the weekend a draft Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) outlining three critical areas on how to move the implementation review of the peace agreement signed between the two parties in 1996.

“We are hopeful that this will lead to the signing of a formal agreement between the two parties by April, this year, in Tripoli,” said Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process Annabelle T. Abaya.

“We are very, very happy to announce that we have a breakthrough in our implementation process with the MNLF, a draft MOU outlining basic agreements on how to move forward the implementation review,” Assistant Secretary Camillo B. Montesa of the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP), said.

Among the basic agreements contained in the MOU is the joint submission by both panels to President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo for her referral to Congress of the legislative proposals to amend Republic Act No. 9054 or the Organic Act in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM).

It may be recalled that the government and the MNLF signed a final peace agreement on Sept. 2, 1996 during the administration of President Fidel V. Ramos.

Also included in the MOU is the creation of a mechanism providing funds for development projects in conflict- affected areas.

Montesa said that through this mechanism, the government aims to get the support of other countries, like members of the Organization of Islamic Conference (OIC) to match the funds needed for development in southern Philippines.

According to Abaya, the government has committed P100 million seed money for the development projects.

The draft also said that parties will undertake a tripartite process-structure in monitoring the implementation of the 1996 Peace Agreement, including security, governance, and economic activities, as well as the delivery of social services in the conflict-affected areas.

The draft MOU is set to be signed next month. (PNA)

scs/RBC/ssc

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