MNLF, MILF create unity committee after dialogue

The Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) and Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) organized over the weekend a "unity and advocacy" committee that will work to empower and unite the Bangsamoro people through da’wah (Islam preaching) and education.

Leaders of the two groups concluded over the weekend the third round of their informal dialogue in Davao City, the MILF said on Monday.

"A Unity and Advocacy Committee was organized composed of equal representation from the two sides being headed by an Aleem (Islamic scholar) that will work for the empowerment and strengthening of unity of the Bangsamoro through da’wah and education," the MILF said on its website.

It added an ad-hoc joint secretariat was created for the continuing dialogue between the two groups.

Leaders of both groups’ leaders also called for restraint and ceasefire in the fighting between the government and MNLF forces in Sitio Gundungan, Daruma, Patikul, Sulu last weekend.

“The time now is for peace and we strongly appeal that the fighting shall be ceased and avoid escalation in order to give way to peaceful means of addressing issues and concerns,” they said.

The MILF quoted Amin as saying MNLF forces under Vice Chairman Tahir Usman were harvesting crops when Philippine Marines stormed the area and the firefight ensued.

“If the military is saying they encountered the Abu Sayyaf Group, then it is clearly a wrong encounter,” Amin said.

The MNLF has signed a peace agreement with the government in 1996, while the MILF signed a framework peace agreement with the government last Oct. 15.

More than 20 leaders from both Fronts from Maguindanao, Sulu, Lanao, and Davao participated in the dialogue led by the MNLF's Dr. Abdurahman Amin and the MILF's Mohagher Iqbal.

Also, the MILF said its and the MNLF's leaders expressed their commitment to "strengthen and concretize" parallel directions, collective and complementary efforts, and coordination mechanisms "toward achieving justice, peace and development for the Bangsamoro."

The MILF said the MNLF's leaders welcomed the recently signed government-MILF framework agreement that would replace the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao with a Bangsamoro political entity.

It said the MNLF also congratulated the MILF for achieving the agreement which they called as “a milestone and formidable.” — KBK, GMA News

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