Anticipation high for GPH-MILF peace pact

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Wednesday, March 26, 2014


DAVAO CITY -- Mindanao politicians are anticipating the scheduled signing of the Comprehensive Agreement on Bangsamoro (CAB) between the Philippine Government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) in Malacañang today, Thursday.

North Cotabato Governor Emmylou Taliño-Mendoza urged all peace loving Mindanaoans to continue supporting all efforts by the government as well as by its people for more progress and development to come to Mindanao.

Compostela Valley Representative Ma. Carmen Zamora, meanwhile, commended the people behind the peace effort that led to the final peace agreement with the MILF Thursday.

"We take this opportunity to commend Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process Teresita Quintos-Deles and GPH-MILF peace panel chairman Miriam Coronel-Ferrer, two extraordinary women who have helped lead and steer the discussions to the attainment of lasting and sustainable peace. We take pride that our women leaders have achieved a remarkable effort for peace in our country at the close of women's month. It is a testament to women as stewards of peace for the Philippines," said Zamora.

"This is a momentous and landmark episode in our nation: we are moving from discussions and preliminary agreements on peace, to actually implementing mechanisms for identity, equity and peace. We share with our Muslim brothers and sisters the aspiration for meaningful autonomy through democratic processes. This accord is part of our nation's commitment to provide resolution to the Bangsamoro question with honor, justice, and dignity; we are at the door towards peace and stability. I urge one and all to take part in the celebration of this milestone, and to embrace the Bangsamoro as we take this huge step tomorrow for a better future," she added.

Zamora said she will join all of the other Filipinos who will witness the historic peace agreement signing Thursday. This as she commits to protect and enhance the rights of the Bangsamoro people and all citizens, at the same time recognizing that peace can be attained when justice comes with equity.

Davao City Vice Mayor Paolo Duterte, for his part, hopes that after the signing, all parties would comply with all the provisions stated in the final peace agreement.

"After the signing, I hope the parties will comply with all the provisions of the agreement to yield genuine and lasting peace in Mindanao. We have long been waiting for a solution to put an end to all the atrocities in our island, I hope this will work out for us," Duterte said.

The signing of CAB is scheduled in Malacañang Palace with Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak attending.

Both the Philippine Government and the MILF expressed optimism and will be sending a huge delegation to the signing.

MILF chair Al Haj Murad Ebrahim will head the MILF delegation.

Ghadzali Jaafar, MILF vice chairman for political affairs, said on Wednesday that the government allotted the front 400 slots for the signing ceremony that will also be attended by representatives from the international community and local stakeholders.

Jaafar said the MILF delegation will be composed of senior members of the central and provincial committees and ground commanders.

Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process Teresita Quintos Deles said they are expecting at least 1,000 people to grace the historic CAB signing, including foreign dignitaries.

Cardinal Orlando Quevedo, the country's first Cardinal from Mindanao, is expected to attend the CAB signing.

During Thursday’s CAB signing, Jaafar said that the MILF's main Camp Darapanan will also dazzle with activities that will be attended by thousands of members and supporters.

Similar celebratory activities related to the CAB signing will also be held in the provinces of Maguindanao, Lanao del Sur, Basilan, Sulu and Tawi-Tawi, the core areas of the proposed Bangsamoro region.

The Bangsamoro region will replace the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, which is composed of those provinces, once the Bangsamoro Basic Law is passed by Congress and ratified by the constituents in a plebiscite. (Sun.Star Davao/Sunnex)

Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on March 27, 2014.

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