Press Release
June 18, 2015


Sen. Chiz Escudero is pushing for the inclusion in the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) of a detailed timetable for decommissioning of weapons and combatants of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) to ensure the smooth transition from conflict to peace in Mindanao.

After the symbolic turnover of 75 firearms and the return to the fold of the law of 145 combatants last Tuesday, MILF chairman Murad Ibrahim said that additional decommissioning would only commence if the BBL is passed.

Escudero, however, said the MILF's precondition only underscored the need for the Senate to scrutinize the BBL and include a timetable that will detail the entire decommissioning process.

According to Escudero, the Senate will exercise its right and do its duty to thoroughly study the proposed law, including the decommissioning process, to make sure that the MILF will abandon its armed insurgency and shun other forms of violence.

"Tama lang sa parte ng Senado na pag-aralan at timbangin ang pagsama ng proseso ng decommissioning sa panukalang batas para maliwanag at kwentas klaras ang pagsuko nila ng kanilang mga armas at maliwanag na pagtalikod sa anumang karahasan o gulo para isulong ang kanilang mga adhikain," Escudero pointed out.

Escudero said the details of the decommissioning process must be explicitly provided in the BBL to ensure that the MILF will no longer have the capability to perpetrate acts of violence after surrendering its forces and put all its firearms beyond use.

At the same time, Escudero put to task government negotiators to explain to the public whether the approval of the BBL was a precondition to the MILF's full decommissioning.

"Lahat tayo gusto at hanap ay kapayapaan. Na hinihimay at isinasaayos ang panukalang BBL ay pagtalima sa paniniwalang 'yan upang maging mas ganap, pangmatagalan at para sa lahat ng Pilipino ang kapayapaan na ating isinusulong sa ating bansa," Escudero said.

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