Aquino warns ‘spoilers’ of GPH-MILF peace deal

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Thursday, March 27, 2014


PRESIDENT Benigno Aquino III on Thursday warned those who would try to derail the attainment of a lasting peace in Mindanao following the signing of a comprehensive peace deal between the Philippine government and the largest Muslim rebel group in the country.

Aquino, in a speech during the forging of the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro (CAB) between the government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), said that those so-called "spoilers" of peace would be dealt firmly by the state.

"May this also stand as a warning to those who wish to derail our path to a final, lasting peace—those who wish to sow divisiveness for self-interest, and those who continue to wield arms to pursue their own agendas: So many people have suffered for so long; so many of our stakeholders have worked so hard to arrive at this point. I will not let peace be snatched from my people again," he said.

"Not now, when we have already undertaken the most difficult and most significant steps to achieve it. Those who want to test the resolve of the state will be met with a firm response based on righteousness and justice—as we demonstrated in Zamboanga City," he added.

Aquino said that being a president is not the easiest of jobs as the fight to change the status quo is even more daunting.

"I do not want to just take my turn on a merry-go-round that goes nowhere but round and round—to perpetuate or even exacerbate existing problems," he said.

Aquino said he would rather ride the horse that actually leads to a definite destination.

With the signing of the CAB, the President said that the Filipino people will "forever be indebted" to Malaysia.

"The role that Malaysia played in forging this agreement is especially significant, given that the Bangsamoro forms the nexus of bloodlines that links Malaysia and the Philippines," he said.

Malaysia has been the third party facilitator in the peace process between the government and the MILF since 2001. It also heads the International Monitoring Team, a body which oversees the ceasefire between the government forces and the MILF. (SDR/Sunnex)

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