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Cardinal: MILF decommissioning shows ‘sincerity’ to peace

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MANILA, June 17, 2015— A ranking church official considers the first phase of Moro Islamic Liberation Front’s (MILF) decommissioning process as proof of their ‘sincerity’ in the peace process.

Cotabato Archbishop Orlando Cardinal Quevedo said he never doubted MILF’s commitment to peace in Mindanao.

Archbishop Orlando Beltran Cardinal Quevedo (Photo: CBCP News)

“I believe that we have this turnover of weapons and the decommissioning of the MILF forces… The MILF showed its sincerity in pursuing peace,” Quevedo told the church-run Radio Veritas.

While some people belittled the quality of firearms surrendered by MILF, the cardinal said it is already a major step towards the peace building process.

“It is very simple but significant event. Why is it significant? Because it is one small step in the gradual normalization and gradual decommissioning of the MILF,” he said.

The development, he said, must spur the public to support the peace efforts between the government and the country’s largest Muslim rebel group.

“I believe that the message that has to be given is that, let us pursue peace,” said Quevedo.

The MILF on Tuesday symbolically turned over 75 firearms to an independent body as agreed by both parties under the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro (CAB).

The historic event was witnessed by no other than President Benigno Aquino III along with MILF Chairman Al Haj Murad Ebrahim in Brgy. Simuay, Sultan Kudarat in Maguindanao.

Some critics, however, downplayed the significance of the event saying that the number of firearms turned over was not even 10 percent of the total number of firearms owned by the MILF. (CBCPNews)


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