MSU-Maguindanao Joins OPAPRU and Other MSU Campuses for MNLF Transformation Program Socioeconomic Component

On September 1, 2023, Mindanao State University (MSU) – Maguindanao Chancellor Bai Hejira Nefertiti M. Limbona signed a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) with MSU General Santos Chancellor Usman Aragasi for the Implementation of Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) Socioeconomic Component under the Transformation Program in the identified priority areas for Fiscal Year 2023. This ceremonial signing was a continuation of the signed MOA between the Office of the Presidential Adviser on Peace, Reconciliation, and Unity (OPAPRU) and MSU System on July 6, 2023, at Philippine International Convention Center (PICC) in Pasay City, Philippines.

The Transformation Program for MNLF combatants their families and communities is one of the banner programs of the Marcos administration for unity and reconciliation. It is anchored in the provisions of the 1996 Final Peace Agreement, which paved the way to end the decades-long armed conflict between the government and the revolutionary group. This agreement has led to increased peace, security, and order in the Bangsamoro region. As stated in the MOA signing at the PICC, the program aims to facilitate the transition of MNLF members and their families into peaceful and productive civilians.

The Technical Working Group (TWG) of MSU – Maguindanao, led by the Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences and a former revolutionary combatant, Dr. Badrudin Abdul, will be co-supervised by the Director of the Institute for Peace and Development in Mindanao, Prof. Grant Warren D. Lu. The university will be in charge of handling seven (7) MNLF communities in Maguindanao del Sur and del Norte and two (2) communities in North Cotabato. In August 2023, the TWG conducted community visits, immersions, and dialogues with the commanders of the selected MNLF communities.

The successful conduct and completion of the initial assessment of communities mean a lot for MSU – Maguindanao and its community. This serves as a concrete testimony of its aim to become the National Peace University and fulfill its unique mandate of bringing and empowering indigenous, rural, and marginalized communities into the mainstream of national body politic and holistic development. The university continues to extend the services of its experts and resources to the OPAPRU in building more peaceful environments in Muslim Mindanao.”