MILF peace caravan seeks support for BTA extension

 LAMITAN CITY, Basilan: Around 1,500 members of the Bangsamoro Islamic Armed Forces (BIAF) of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) conducted a peace caravan around the Basilan circumferential road on Wednesday to appeal to P r e s i d e n t Ro d r i g o Duterte, the Senate and the House of Representatives to extend the term of the Bangsamoro Transition Authority (BTA) until 2025.

The caravan kicked off from Barangay Baas, Lamitan City, en route to Isabela City, Lantawan, Maluso, Sumisip, Ungkaya, Pukan and Tipo-Tipo municipalities and Lamitan City again.

It was coordinated with the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the Philippine National Police in the province.

Al Haj Dan Asnawie, 114th base commander of the MILF-BIAF in Western Mindanao and also the lead organizer of the peace caravan, said their primary purpose for holding the motorcade of about 150 vehicles was to urge Duterte to certify as urgent a bill calling for the extension of the term of the BTA to 2025.

This is in order for the Senate and the House of Representative, he added, to expedite the passage of the bill into law and to pave the way for full implementation of all signed peace agreements between the Government of the Republic of the Philippines and the MILF as well as the Moro National Liberation Front.

Asnawie said it is imperative the BTA Parliament be given another three-year term to allow the MILF leadership to set all necessary policies and systems attuned with a parliamentary system of governance.

Since the establishment of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao is considered to be the legacy of the Duterte administration, he believes the President would support the BTA's extension for sustainability of gains of peace in the country in general.

Another caravan organizer, commander Mosber Alauddin, also the provincial political chairman of the MILF in Basilan, said he feared if the BTA will not be extended and the MILF leadership is sidelined by other sectors, the peace agreements may not be signed by the concerned parties.

Source: https://www.manilatimes.net/2021/06/25/news/regions/milf-peace-caravan-seeks-support-for-bta-extension/1804493

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