. .DISARMAMENT & SECURITY. .
An article by Maecy Alviar for the Andalou Agency
In a historic solidarity event, the Philippine military and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) gathered on Saturday [25 August] to celebrate a Muslim holiday in the southern Philippines.
Moro Muslims perform the Eid Al-Adha (Feast of Sacrifice) prayer at the orphanage opened by Turkey’s IHH Humanitarian Relief Foundation in Cotabato, Philippines on August 21, 2018. ( Ahmet Furkan Mercan – Anadolu Agency )
Maminta Dimakuta, the mayor of Tagoloan Lanao, welcomed the government troops and the country’s largest Moro separatist group to the del Norte province, touting the harmonious relationship of Christians and Muslims in the town despite cultural and religious differences.
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Can peace be achieved in the Philippines?
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Brig. Gen. Ramiro Manuel Rey and Col.Thomas Sedano, representatives from the soldiers’ side, expressed their gratitude to the town officials for organizing the celebration of the Muslim holiday of Eid Al-Adha.
“I’ve long been dreaming of joining with MILF fighters in an event like this,” Sedano said, as quoted by GMA News.
The joint celebration also served to pay thanks for the milestone in the peace process in the southern Philippines, said Dimakuta.
The Bangsamoro Organic Law, the fulfillment of the 2014 peace deal between the national government and the MILF, was signed in June by President Rodrigo Duterte.
The measure for greater autonomy creates the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region, a region with more political and fiscal powers including a bigger annual block grant equivalent to 5 percent of the total national internal revenue collection.