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TPMT 01 November 2015

Seize the Moment
TPMT Statement on the Basic Law for the Bangsamoro, now in Congress

As foreseen under the Framework Agreement on the Bangsamoro, the Third-Party Monitoring
Team (TPMT) has since July of 2013 been monitoring regularly the implementation of the
agreements signed between the Philippine Government and the MILF. During that time we
have met with the widest possible range of stakeholders, in Manila and across Mindanao.

In all of these contacts, we have been struck by the universal desire for peace and security, for
prosperity and progress, and for a better hope for the future. Those who have lived with more
than four decades of armed conflict in Muslim Mindanao have also understood the
tremendous benefits which peace can unlock, allowing the region to achieve its full potential,
and to contribute more effectively to the prosperity and security of the nation as a whole.

The international community has watched with admiration as the Philippines has worked to
carry this process forward. A successful conclusion to the peace process in Mindanao will be
of benefit not only to the people of the Bangsamoro, of Mindanao, and of the Philippines as a
whole, but indeed to the global community as well. We have all seen the wider impact of
poverty and conflict around the world, at a time when criminality, radicalism and terrorism
can easily leapfrog national borders.

No-one ever said it would be easy to build a sustainable peace in Mindanao, and it has taken
many years of effort, of setbacks as well as achievements, to build the foundations of this
peace. We are now at a critical juncture in the peace process, when a successful conclusion to
eighteen years of negotiations is almost within reach. Expectations are running high, though
fears of failure are also growing.

The detailed deliberations in Congress on the Basic Law establishing the autonomous region,
and the wide-ranging consultations accompanying this, have certainly allowed all
stakeholders to express themselves on the substance and the detail of the agreements and the
draft law, and to make clear both the rewards of peace and the costs of conflict. There is now
an historic opportunity to complete the legislative process, and to build a new future of peace,
security and prosperity for Mindanao and for the Philippines as a whole.

By adopting now a basic law giving legal expression to the Comprehensive Agreement and
providing for the real autonomy foreseen under the 1987 Constitution (and improving on the
more limited autonomy provided under RA.9054), Congress will have shown its leadership in
promoting peace, security and prosperity for the benefit of the nation as a whole. The prize of
peace is within reach, and we believe that the political will and vision of Congress can indeed
allow it to seize this historic moment.

The TPMT therefore joins all those, in the Philippines and around the world, who have
expressed their support for the timely adoption of an acceptable and meaningful Basic Law.


USA). Huseyin Oruç ( +63 917 843 2556 . for example at : http://www. The TPMT has convened on a roughly two-monthly basis since then. Steven Rood (The Asia Foundation.opapp. Karen Tañada (Gaston Z Ortigas Peace Institute. The TPMT has five members (two nominated by the MILF. Philippines). as provided for in the Framework Agreement on the Bangsamoro (FAB) signed on 15 October 2012. The TPMT’s second annual public report was issued in February 2015. and Alistair MacDonald (Chair. . FAB and its Annexes. Philippines). Background The independent Third-Party Monitoring Team (TPMT) was set up by the Government of the Philippines and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front to monitor the implementation of the GPH-MILF peace agreement. Turkey). . In particular. former EU Ambassador to the Philippines. and is available on both the OPAPP and Luwaran websites. now retired). reviewing and assessing the implementation of all signed agreements between the Parties. two by the GPH.and to communicate to the public the progress and developments in the implementation of the Agreements of the Parties. on the basis of terms of reference agreed by the Parties in January Contact for further information : Alistair MacDonald TPMT Chair and Spokesperson tpmt. primarily the CAB. and will continue to monitor the implementation of the agreements through till the completion of the Exit Document foreseen in the CAB.macdonald@gmail.monitor and evaluate the implementation of all and a jointly nominated Chair) : Rahib Kudto (United Youth for Peace and and assess the progress of the implementation of commitments by both Parties under the Agreements (submitting comprehensive periodic reports and updates to both Parties for their appropriate action). The TPMT was launched in July of 2013. its basic functions are to : . The TPMT is tasked with monitoring.