TACLOBAN CITY– Senator Francis Escudero is seeking for the inclusion of decommissioning process of firearms and members of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front in the Bangsamoro Basic Law.

The senator, who was in this city on Friday said the symbolic decommissioning on Tuesday is a good first step to attain peace, but the process should be stated in details in the BBL to ensure transparency.

“The MILF said there would be no additional decommissioning unless the BBL is passed into law. Since the turnover is tied to passage of BBL, it is necessary to include the details of decommissioning in the BBL. The proposed law is silent on this issue,” Escudero told reporters.

“The turnover was symbolic. It is estimated that MILF has 12,000 to 15,000 firearms, but only 75 were turned over. We don’t know how many will be turned over on the next phase.”

He urged the MILF to accurately report on the number and kinds of existing firearms. “How can we know that decommissioning is done if we don’t know how many firearms they have?”

The lawmaker also seeks for explanation on how the MILF acquired these firearms and their sources to validate their claims that they are government’s “partners in peace.”

The so-called decommissioning of MILF forces is part of the normalization component of the existing peace agreement. The handover aims to address the security aspect of the rebels’ return to the normal life.

The BBL will create a new Bangsamoro autonomous region, replacing the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM). PNA

Facebook Comments