The transitional governance being spearheaded by the Bangsamoro Transition Authority (BTA) declared the implementation of the GPH-MILF Peace agreement is on two tracks namely: (1) The Political Track and (2) The Normalization Track.
What is eminent now being talk of the town is in the political track which concerns the BTA, the Parliament, the Ministries and Offices in daily feat. These are laudable accomplishments indeed that merits phrases and worth propagating. We salute our leaders in the BTA and all its instrumentalities for the excellent performance.
However, on the other side of the coin there is equally important aspect of the implementation which is the Normalization Track base on the Annex on Normalization that was signed by the GPH-MILF Panels on January 25, 2014 in Kuala Lumpor, Malaysia. It reminds us of the importance of this Normalization Track as stated in its prefatory statement that: “Annex on Normalization is an integral part of FAB and outlines and elaborate additional details on Normalization. And that FAB Categorically states: “that normalization is vital to the peace process” and “ Where communities can return to conditions where they can achieve their desired quality of all ways of life.”
That the above statements had a hard lessons to ponder with in the case of GOP-MNLF 1996 final Peace Agreement that had been finally concluded by former president Benigno Aquino III as a “failed experiment”. It should be noted that normalization aspect was missing in that equation.
Obviously the current trends show that only matters on the “decommissioning of MILF combatants” is prevalent in public knowledge. The matter bothers those who are keenly observing and accompanying the peace process since its inception.
To set the records straight, Annex on Normalization contents have ten (10) important components necessary for the return to normal life of the Bangsamoro as: (A) Policing (B) Transitional Components of Normalization (C) Decommissioning of MILF Combatants (D) Redeployment of the AFP (E) Clearing of UXOs and land mines (F) Disbanding of Private Armed Groups (PAGs) (G) Socio-Economic Development Program (H) Transitional Justice and Reconciliation (I) Resource Mobilization (J) Confidence-Building Measures.
There is reason to worry on the perceived soft approach by the GPH-MILF leaders and public reluctance in this 2nd track of implementation. Foremost, it is the basic foundation of hope for the establishment of an enduring peace, healing of social wounds and correcting historical injustices committed against the Bangsamoro people.
The irony of it all is that Annex on Normalization clearly stated that:“The decommissioning of MILF forces shall be parallel and commensurate to the implementation of all the agreements of the Parties.”
The paradox lies on the fact that only one component of these ten elements of Normalization is being focused and given weight in this important aspect of the GPH-MILF peace agreement implementation.