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http://www.mindanews.com/peace-process/2015/06/17/delayed-bbl-passage-delayed-decommissioning-of-milf-firearms-combatants/

 

"We are happy and hopeful that the ongoing decommissioning process of MILF firearms will further advance the final resolution of the Mindanao conflict. However, we have tamed expectation that it will happen within the original phase set by the Administration of President Aquino," Executive Director Regina Antequisa of EcoWEB said.

EcoWEB, founded in 2006, considers "strained social relations" as one of the major problems in Mindanao. Of the many forms of strained social relations, EcoWEB considers the conflict between the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) and the Philippine Government as a major one. The organization has been involved in the peace process at various levels both in the official and unofficial process.

"What we mean by official process is the ongoing negotiation between the Government and the MILF where EcoWEB is participating as among the CSO's supporting it," Ms. Antequisa added.

EcoWEB has been supporting the effort of the Government and the MILF in raising awareness on the root causes of the conflict in Mindanao.

"The unofficial peace process is the grassroots level initiatives that EcoWEB has doing since its establishment. We had helped in facilitating the resolution of the land conflict between Maranao and Visayan claimants of a 200 hectare land in Lumbac, Kolambugan that had already claimed 11 lives." Ms. Antequisa added.

"The unofficial process is very important because it directly addresses conflicts at the ground. It attempts to address the root causes of the Mindanao conflict at the community level that involves the people on daily basis for generations," the Executive Director added.

"We were very hopeful that a substantial and acceptable political solution was achievable within the Aquino Administration. But given the developments in the last 6 months, we have to tame our expectation. We think that the peace process still needs more time and deeper reflection and appreciation of both Bangsamoro and non-Bangsamoro alike. What we do is work with the grassroots and keep their hope burning," Ms. Antequisa concluded.

EcoWEB is presently having projects in areas covered by the expanded Bangsamoro territory. It has an organic agriculture project in Nunungan, Lanao del Norte and a forest management project in Poona Piagapo, both municipalities are soon to be included in the Bangsamoro territory.