Malaysian envoy upbeat on Philippine peace process

A MALAYSIAN envoy is positive that the peace process between the Philippine government and rebel groups will push through under the Duterte administration.

Acting consul general of Malaysia MohonJafri Bin Mohd Sharif said during January 4's Habi at Kape at Abreeza-Ayala Mall that he is also hopeful that more countries will contribute in the realization of the peace initiatives.

For the part of Malaysia, the consul said that the Malaysian government acts as a third party to help with the administration's peace negotiations in Mindanao.

He said the 11th batch of Malaysia international monitoring team was sent to Cotabato City last year to monitor and report about the peace process and ceasefire mechanism in Mindanao concerning the Government of the Philippines (GPH) and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF).

The team is part of Indonesia-Malaysia-Thailand Growth Triangle (IMT-GT) that was first established in 2004, temporarily withdrawn in 2008, and came back again in 2010.

"We also have monitoring team sites in Iligan City, General Santos, and Zamboanga aside from the one in Cotabato City," he said.

The first monitoring team started March of last year until November.

Meanwhile, a team site was used to be established in Davao City as well but was later removed since the area was already reported to be peaceful.

"No need for a monitoring to be done in Davao City. So we withdrew," said Sharif.

The team monitors and reports the updates of the ceasefire mechanism in Mindanao. The members of the team underwent three different components of training to be equipped with the monitoring they were conducting regarding the ongoing peace negotiations in Mindanao: security component, socio-economic system component which was led by Japan, and the civilian protection component.

Development assistance, which was funded by Japan, will also be given to specific communities in Mindanao. This assistance is under the economic system program where the Malaysian government also participates in.

They also make a report to the Philippine government to help out with against the damages caused by war in Mindanao to civilian villages.

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