MILF leaders welcome EOJ,JICA officials, express thanks for continuing support to B’Moro

The Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) led by Chairman Al-Haj Murad Ebrahim welcomed officials from the Embassy of Japan (EOJ) in the Philippines and Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) on September 5, 2018 at Camp Darapanan in Sultan Kudarat, Maguindanao.

Delegates from EOJ were Takehiro Kano, EOJ minister and deputy chief of mission; Ryusuke Ikeda, first secretary for political section, and Yosuke Tamabayashi, first secretary and Advisor for socio-econ assistance component of the International Monitoring Team (IMT).

Officials from JICA Philippine Office were Wada Yoshio, chief representative, Masuko Etsuko, representative for Mindanao Section and Hiroshi Takeuchi, chief advisor, JICA Cotabato Office.

The visit was intended for the EOJ and JICA to get updates on the signed Bangsamoro Organic Law (BOL) and hear from the MILF priorities and future plans.

Chairman Murad firstly expressed thanks to the visitors for the continuing full support to Bangsamoro.

He told visitors of the continuing struggle over the BOL and disclosed challenges on the upcoming plebiscite, how to manage expectations of the people and to win the support of the anti-BOL groups.

Meanwhile, Mohammad S. Yacob, executive director of the Bangsamoro Development Agency (BDA), the development arm of the MILF spoke about priority programs on health and education and the need for quick and immediate implementation of such projects to help sustain the momentum for the massive support to Bangsamoro.

Yacob stressed the need for international assistance for such objectives.

EOJ and JICA have been long-term partners of the BDA for numerous development projects since early years, which accomplishments have greatly helped uplift the living conditions of underserved communities in conflict-affected areas in Mindanao.

Key officials from the MILF who joined the meeting were Muhammad Ameen, secretary, and Mohammad Salih, member of central committee.

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