Malaysiakini News

'Deal with Bangsamoro can bring peace, stop kidnappings'

Bernama  |  Published:  |  Modified:

The Philippines sees a deal with Bangsamoro as necessary for peace and security in the southern region, especially Mindanao, and to put a stop to kidnap-for-ransom and related criminal activities.

It thus, looked upon the relaunch of the Banagsamoro Peace Deal as "the way forward", said Martin Andanar, secretary (minister) of the presidential communications operations office.

He said Rodrigo Duterte, who was sworn in as the 16th President of the Philippines in June, was very firm in wanting to put a stop to the kidnappings.

"The visit of the president to Sulu last week clearly showed his aim to resolve the extremist problem that we have," Andanar said, referring to the Abu Sayyaf terrorist group.

"He (Duterte) is strengthening our military, and in fact sending a delegation to Malaysia, not only to finalise the Bangsamoro Peace Agreement but also discuss how both countries can finally put an end to this issue," he said during a visit to Bernama in Kuala Lumpur.

Andanar was received by Bernama chairperson Azman Ujang.

The Bangsamoro peace process has undergone adjustments for over 17 years through negotiations between the Philippine government and representatives of the Moro people.

Members of the Philippine government's new implementing panel and representatives of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) met here over the weekend to formally relaunch the Implementing Phase of the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro.

Malaysia has brokered peace efforts between the Philippine government and the MILF since 2001.

Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak in his statement on Saturday, hailed the relaunch of the Bangsamoro Peace Deal, saying Malaysia would remain committed to it for as long as was desired.

Adanar was in the Philippine delegation which called on Najib at his office today.

"We asked the prime minister for assurance not to leave us in this path towards peace in Mindanao until it is achieved and PM Najib did commit that he will work until Mindanao achieves economic progress... to continually help the Philippine government achieve this peace," he said.

- Bernama

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