MNLF officer in Lanao hopes to benefit from Bangsamoro deal

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Thursday, March 27, 2014


KAUSWAGAN, Lanao del Norte -- A Moro National Liberation Front revolutionary secretary hopes to benefit from the Bangsamoro Framework Agreement between the Government of the Philippines (GPH) and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) once it becomes a law by year 2016.

Sultan Camlon Moner, a former president of the Association of Barangay Council and barangay chairman of Barangay Delabayan, which was once a conflict area in Kauswagan town in Lanao del Norte in March 2000 to August 2008, said Wednesday they would be glad to benefit from the peace and development of the agreement.

"Delabayan is the backbone of MILF in Lanao del Norte. It was in Delabayan where the MILF was organized," he said.

"Everybody knows then that Azadullah Macapaar alias Kumander Bravo of 102nd Base Command is a son of Delabayan," Moner added.

However, Moner said that in the peace process, it is but reasonable that rehabilitation within the hearts and minds of the people should come first before any physical rehabilitation will be done in the community.

Delabayan was once a no man’s land in March 2000 all-out war under the former president Joseph Estrada.

All houses were burned down during the offensives including Camp John Mac occupied by Kumander Bravo in March 2000.

Kagawad Ibrahim Alad Alaan of Barangay Inudaran said, "I do agree that the MILF including the private armies be disarmed in the normalization process to prevent further bloodshed and chaos."

Kauswagan town Mayor Rommel C. Arnado also said, "I am hoping that the Bangsamoro Framework Agreement will be a successful initiative to attain a lasting peace in Mindanao and should be translated into law by 2016. However, the GPH should further establish a fallback position in case the peace deal may drag on."

GPH panel chairperson Professor Miriam Coronel-Ferrer in a recent visit in Kauswagan in March said, "Kauswagan could be a good model and show window of the Bangasamoro peace process since the local government unit of Kauswagan was able to facilitate development assistance to five MILF and one MNLF commanders and their followers who returned to the folds of the law."

As rebel returnees, they availed assistance from the Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Institute of Technology and from the Office of the Presidential Assistance on the Peace Process for infrastructure and livelihood assistance.

Mayor Arnado said, "The design strategy was effective and efficient since we do not require the rebel returnees to turnover their firearms, but showing sincerity in their hearts and their willingness to reform and live a better life count."

Published in the Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro newspaper on March 27, 2014.

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