Rebel group, Bacolod leaders hail peace pact

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Friday, March 28, 2014


MEMBERS of the rebel group and officials of Bacolod City saluted the signing of the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro (CAB) between the Philippine Government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) on Thursday.

In a press statement Thursday, the Rebolusyonaryong Partido ng Manggagawa-Pilipinas (RPM-P), the political wing of the Revolutionary Proletarian Army/Alex Bongcayao Brigade (RPA-ABB), said it salutes the signing of the peace agreement.

“We extend our highest commendation to the leadership of President Benigno Simeon Aquino III and the leaders of the MILF on this achievement," the group said.

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"It is with high hopes for a bright path of reconciliation and collaboration between the Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GPH) and the MILF for the interest of peace, justice and progress of the Muslim people and the broad masses in Mindanao that we salute the signing of a Peace Agreement on March 27,” the group added.

“The RPMP/RPA-ABB recognizes that with this comes the equally challenging work of instituting reforms and changes so that democracy that values pluralism and social justice may truly bring about progress and development to all, especially to the Bangsamoro people,” the group said.

The RPA-ABB Tabuano-Paduano Group is waiting for the closure of its peace agreement with the National Government.

A member of an Islamic group in the city also expressed hopes that the signed CAB will bring peace not only in Mindanao, but also for all Filipinos.

“The conflict in Mindanao continued for 40 years and it has been the hope of everyone to end the armed conflict there. Whatever is being asked by the Muslims based on this agreement should be honored and given by the Philippine government so that we can attain the peace that we all hope for,” said Imam Omar Betita, member of the Dar Al-Dhikr Islamic Call and Guidance Center in Bacolod City.

Bacolod City Mayor Monico Puentevella urged Bacolodnons to pray for the peace accord to succeed. “I have seen previous attempts and they all failed. Let there be peace in Mindanao.”

Bacolod City Representative Evelio Leonardia said the signing of CAB is historic and significant. “I am for that in terms of principle. We are in unison with President Aquino, but we can make our own stand when it is already discussed in the House. We will look for what is beneficial to the majority. Peace is important. If Mindanao will improve through peace, that will also be good for the country.”

Negros Occidental Governor Alfredo Marañon Jr. said he has been hoping for peace in Mindanao.

"I hope this will be the last. There have been several agreements before before. Let's pray for its success. If there is peace, there will be progress in Mindanao for it to become the land of promise and fulfillment," he said. (TDE/CNC)

Published in the Sun.Star Bacolod newspaper on March 28, 2014.

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