• Melo Acuna

"Beacon of Peace" sadly missed by peace advocates

OPAPP condoles with MNLF Chair Yusop Jikiri’s family

MANILA – Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process Secretary Carlito Galvez, Jr. said he and his staff mourn the passing of “a beacon of peace” in restive Southern Philippines, Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) Chairman Yusop Jikiri.

In a statement released Sunday afternoon, Secretary Galvez said Chairman Jikiri passed away late Saturday night. He described the late MNLF leader as “a public servant and man of peace.”

The late Chair Jikiri joined the MNLF and rose to become one of its top commanders and Chief of Staff of the Bangsamoro Armed Forces. He was elected and later assumed the chairmanship of the MNLF Council of Leaders from MNLF former chair Muslimin Sema in 2017.

Secretary Galvez said after the signing of the Final Peace Agreement (FPA) between the Government then led by President Fidel V. Ramos and the MNLF then under Chairman Nur Misuari in 1996, Mr. Jikiri served as Sulu Governor from 2001 to 2004 and later on became District Representative from 2007 to 2010.

“It was during his stint as a public official that he demonstrated his ability to bring stakeholders together and work for the common good,” said Secretary Galvez.

He credited the late MNLF leader for the conclusion of the tripartite review process (TRP) signed in Jeddah, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia that guaranteed the implementation of all the remaining commitments made under the 1996 Final Peace Agreement between the government and the MNLF.

He was also credited for making the peace process inclusive as Mr. Jikiri stood with the leadership of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) as he helped in the ratification of the Bangsamoro Organic Law (BOL) and the realization of commitments made under all signed peace agreements.

He was also credited for the participation of the MNLF in the Bangsamoro Transition Authority (BTA) after the BOL’s ratification. (Melo M. Acuña)

MNLF Chair Yusop Jikiri. (File Photo/PIA)

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