COTABATO CITY – The Office of Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPPAP) meets the officials of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) on December 05, 2007 to discuss the implementation of propositions in the recently concluded tripartite talks of the Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GRP), Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) and the Organization of Islamic Conference (OIC) in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.

Highlight of the talks is the creation of five (5) joint working groups that will reaffirm GRP-MNLF full commitment to the success of the peace process in Southern Philippines. Each joint working group will be composed of three (3) experts from GRP and MNLF while the OIC Peace Committee for Southern Philippines will serve as facilitators for the meetings.

The working groups will focus five (5) issues of concern, which are Shari’ah and Judiciary, Special Regional Security Force and the Unified Command for the Autonomous Region in Mindanao, Natural Resources and Economic Development, Political System and Representation and Education. The assigned officials are mandated to review implementation of the 1996 Final Peace Agreement in their respective assigned topics.

Meanwhile, the Office of the Regional Treasury (ORT) Umal Kanggu stressed that his office could not able to certify the funding of all proposals thus suggested that the Regional Legislative Assembly (RLA) should put measures to prioritize funding support.

Members of the Technical Working Group (TWG) of each cluster are as follows: Office of the Regional Governor (ORG-ARMM), Regional Legislative Assembly (RLA-ARMM) and Department of Justice (DOJ) will focus on Shari’ah and Judiciary; Philippine National Police (PNP), Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and RLA-ARMM on Special Regional Security Forces and the Unified Command for the Autonomous Region in Mindanao; Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) and ORG-ARMM chairs Natural Resources and Economic Development area; OPPAP, RLA and ORG on Political System and Representation and National offices of the Department of Education (DepED), Technical Education Skills and Development Authority (TESDA) including ORG-ARMM on Education.

TWG chairman, Regional Governor Datu Zaldy Uy Ampatuan, express gratitude to OPAPP for giving the autonomous region opportunity to be involved in the GRP-MNLF peace pact. “We are hopeful that through the creation of TWGs, we can serve better for the aspiration of the Bangsamoro people in the autonomous region,” Governor Zaldy stressed. (bpi-armm)

PRESS RELEASE
Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao
December 5, 2007