We have received reports that alleged Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) “camps” are being established, while the recruitment of MNLF “security forces” are being carried out in Region 4A and other areas outside the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM).
The Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP) does not recognize the establishment of a MNLF camp and the recruitment of MNLF forces in the province of Rizal is not authorized.
We must remember that the 1996 Final Peace Agreement (FPA) with the MNLF does not authorize the establishment of new camps and recruitment of new members.
Since the signing of the peace agreement, the Government and the MNLF have been closely working together to uplift the socio-economic conditions of residents in MNLF-identified communities through the implementation of infrastructure, health, education and livelihood projects, among others.
As part of the government’s commitment to honor all signed peace agreements, including the remaining commitments under the 1996 FPA, various programs are being drawn up and are expected to be soon rolled out in MNLF communities within the Bangsamoro areas.
In light of these developments, these illegal activities are seen as detrimental to the progress made in the peace process. The FPA serves as a concrete reminder for both parties to preserve the gains of the peace process and continue to move it forward.
We would therefore like to warn individuals or organizations which are using the name of the MNLF to extort money from the people as “recruitment fees” in exchange of promised “ranks” or positions of “power” within the organization or access to any programs of the Government. Clearly, such acts are illegal and not supportive of the 1996 Final Peace Agreement.
The government shall press appropriate criminal charges against those who have been proven to have undertaken these illegal recruitment activities and the setting up of alleged “new” MNLF camps.
Finally, the Philippine government would like to assure the Filipino people that it will not allow any illegal paramilitary training or the massing of forces of any organization in the country. Those who will attempt to do shall have to face the full measure of Philippine laws. ###