ICRC visits MILF Leadership, says MILF wisdom rarely seen in the world today

Central Mindanao
Typography

International Committee of the Red Cross officers, Mr. Pascal M. Porchet, Head of Delegation, ICRC Philippines, Mr. Antoine Grand, Deputy Director of Operations,  Ms. Tomoko Matsuzawa, Head of ICRC Cotabato  and Staff made a courtesy call to the MILF Leadership at the Administrative Camp of the Moro Front in Darapanan, Sultan Kudarat Maguindanao, Thursday, March 9.

Chairman Al Haj Murad Ebrahim and the visiting humanitarian group had lengthy discussion on wide topics relevant to the peace process.

ICRC has been in the Philippines since 1945 after World War II, and more so in the 70’s.  Mr. Porchet said, as part of their visitations in the conflict affected areas which the ICRC is serving, it is deemed important for them to make the courtesy call in the front’s leadership, and other contacts in operations, in keeping a close eye on the context, and status of the peace process..

Further, they inquired about the population security in terms of humanitarian consequence, and how they can best adapt and response to the population needs.  It was also an opportunity to thank the MILF for the quite impressive way of helping ICRC in facilitating delivery of services.

Chairman Ebrahim expressed gratitude for the visit and for the continuing engagement since 1980’s. He was delighted to share with the delegation the present status of the peace process.

Similar to what the MILF Chairman had told previous dignitaries who came for a visit he said, “Leadership sees some opportunities achieved in the peace process, although on the other hand there are many challenges too.” “But we will try to maximize opportunities, in order to move forward, struggle to go on with it, and try to neutralize challenges”, he added.

Some challenges mentioned were the delay of BTC to take off, for it to submit the BBL in July time table; asked why there is a so tight schedule?,  Chairman Ebrahim answered “President Duterte wants to pass it in Congress in his early term, so that we can cope up with the Road Map”. 

Chairman Ebrahim further explained about the road map.

The issue on the convergence and participation of International Community were also taken up in the conversation, and so with the maintaining of a facilitator.

Problem on extremism did not escape the subjects of the meeting. Its presence in some areas of Lanao and Island province poses great challenge hence,   advocacy to work as one people is necessary in order to achieve the goal. 

“Those radical elements are capitalizing on the non-passage of BBL. We see that putting in place a political solution will eventually solve the problem, Chairman Ebrahim said. 

The MILF leadership believes in “inclusivity and protection of the population, for whom to govern when the peace process succeeds, if not the people?”  These lines made Mr. Grand say “MILF has the wisdom that we rarely see in the world today”.