ISIS recruitment in Mindanao may affect peace deal – Pimentel

September 21 2014 1:39 PM

The reported recruitment of young Filipinos in Mindanao to join the Islamic States of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) could detail the Philippine government’s peace efforts and affect the enactment of the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL), Sen. Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III said on Sunday, September 21.

Sen. Aqulino Koko Pimentel III“We should not allow terrorist groups to derail our ongoing peace efforts,” said Pimentel, chair of the Senate committee on electoral reforms and people’s participation.

The enactment and eventual ratification of the BBL would pave way for the creation of a new Bangsamoro political entity that will replace the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) by 2016.

Congress leaders vowed to approve the BBL during the first three months of 2015 so that it could be submitted to the voters in the affected areas before May.

The Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro that provided for the BBL seeks the gradual removal of Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) as combatants.

Earlier, former President Fidel V. Ramos and Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte confirmed that the ISIS has been recruiting some Mindanao residents. Duterte said some Davao residents that have been recruited by the group have already left the country.

The United States had announced it is helping the Philippine government in keeping watch of the recruitment activities of the group in southern Philippines.