The Government Implementing Panel on the GPH-MILF Peace Accord strongly condemns the series of armed attacks perpetuated by the BIFF in Maguindanao as this is an outright offense and violation of the Bangsamoro people’s right to collective security especially during this holy month of Ramadan.The GPH Panel denounces the atrocities perpetuated by the BIFF as this an affront against rule of law and a flagrant disrespect of every Bangsamoro’s right to live in a peaceful society. The display of force by the BIFF does not only blatantly erode security in our very own communities, but their continued persistence to sow fear and havoc is intolerable in a democratic society and against our efforts towards building just and lasting peace in the Bangsamoro. The perpetrators should be stopped and held accountable for their actions.

As we sustain the peace dividends in the Bangsamoro, the GPH Panel calls all stakeholders in voicing our unified position to cooperate and relentlessly work towards peace against elements that derail the peace process using violence and disinformation.

The Government remains steadfast in its commitment to put premium on peacebuilding. Such armed attacks do not soften our firm resolve to pursue our work towards peace and development. Rather, this emboldens our position that sustainable peace and growth in the Bangsamoro can only be attained through strengthened democratic collaboration and institutions that preserve human rights and both our personal and collective well-being.

The GPH Panel supports the efforts of our peace partners such as the AGILA-HAVEN (Anak na may GInintuang LAyunin upang Hintuan Ang Violent Extremism Ngayon) of the Provincial Government of Maguindanao aimed at addressing violent extremism propagated by the BIFF and other lawless elements in Maguindanao. The GPH Panel also commends the speedy action of the 6th Infantry Division, Philippine Army; PNP Police Regional Office Bangsamoro Autonomous Region (PRO BAR), and the LGU of Datu Paglas for their immediate and decisive response that prevented the BIFF from occupying the whole town and effectively contained the threat at the public market only. The GPH and MILF peace process mechanisms such our JCMP and JPSTs are also supporting the efforts of our security forces to deter the escalation of the hostilities.

The peace work in the Bangsamoro must thus be continuously pursued.