MANILA A group composed of retired generals in the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) has declared its full support for the passage of the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) being pushed by the Duterte administration to finally attain a genuine and lasting peace in Mindanao.
The Association of Generals and Flag Officers (AGFO) fully supports the program of President Rodrigo R. Duterte's program, especially in the issue of the Bangsamoro Basic Law. We are confident that the President has developed a meaningful program to bring about peace in Mindanao, Raul Urgello, AGFO president, said in an exclusive interview with the Philippine News Agency (PNA) at the sidelines of the AGFO regular meeting held at General Ricarte's Hall in Fort Bonifacio on Thursday.
The BBL is being thoroughly examined and debated by the members of both the Senate and House of Congress.
I'm sure they (lawmakers) will come out a law acceptable to our government and the Bangsamoro," said Urgello, a retired threestar general and former commanding general of the Philippine Army with almost two decades assignment in Mindanao during the war in the 1970s and 1980s.
He admitted that the issue is "complicated", adding that there is no simple solution, but we have to move towards peace in the region.
All war broke out in Mindanao between government forces and the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) in 1974, killing more than 120,000, mostly combatants, until a peace agreement was on Sept. 2, 1996 during the time of President Fidel V. Ramos.
However, a breakaway group, the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) continued the war in 2000 during the Estrada presidency.
During this war, the government practically overran all MILF camps in Central Mindanao, but peace has remained elusive as ever, although both the government and the MILF have ceased fighting to date with the hope of achieving a genuine and lasting peace with the passage of the BBL.
Urgello said AGFO expressed hope that President Duterte will succeed in his effort to bring peace in Mindanao through BBL within the purview of the Constitution.
He stressed that most, if not all, AGFO members had their experience in combat in the Mindanao war and said it is about time to end the armed conflict in the region.
Former Defense Secretary Eduardo Ermita, a retired threestar general and an AGFO member, also expressed the same sentiment that peace is long overdue in Mindanao. (PNA)
Source: Philippine News Agency