Former Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) chair Muslimin Sema rebuffed threats of war and assured that the entire hierarchy and membership of the MNLF Central Committee commit themselves in pursuing the path of lasting peace.
In a statement Sema said over the past days, threats of war have been made by a certain individual misleading the people regarding the true intentions and aspirations of MNLF.
President Rodrigo Duterte with whom MNLF Founding chair Nur Misuari met in Malacanang recently said the latter warned of war if a shift to Federalism will not materialized.
Sema said as a former chairmam of the MNLF duly elected by the MNLF Central Committee clarified that they respect and adhere to the provisions of the 1996 Peace Agreement which was signed by and between the Government of Republic of the Philippines (GRP) and the MNLF as witnessed by the Republic of Indonesia and the Organization of Islamic Conference Secretary General.
Sema said while federalism may be a solution to the Bangsamoro issue, the 1996 Final Peace Agreement (FPA) does not provide for it but merely for meaningful autonomy and the integration of their fighters to the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP).
He said their quest for meaningful autonomy can be realized thru fully implemented peace agreements such as the 1996 FPA and the 2014 Comprehensive Agreement to Bangsamoro (CAB), which is a final peace agreement signed between the Government of the Philippines and the MNLF.
Sema added that they support the recommendations made by the Tripartite Review Panel composed of the GRP, the MNLF and the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) most specifically the convergence of all Moro Fronts and other Bangsamoro organizations and peoples to support all efforts to achieve lasting Peace in Mindanao through the enactment of the Bangsamoro Organic Law (BOL) which was sponsored by Congressmen and women of Mindanao specially Bai Sandra Sema, and recently approved by Duterte.
He said the root causes of Moro secession is being addressed thru RA 11054 or the Bangsamoro Organic Law and now the Bangsamoro Transition Authority (BTA) and Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM).
"There is no valid reason to make threats of war, veiled or otherwise. War is not a child's play and already considered uncivilized. Our people has been through to so much of violence and displacement. It is time we truly give them not only peace of mind but more importantly the chance to rebuild their lives and enjoy the dividends of peace," he said.