Bishops' statement on Mindanao peace talks 'possible'-A A +A
Friday, June 22, 2012
THE president of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) opened the possibility of them issuing a unified position on the ongoing peace process in Mindanao.
Responding to a statement earlier aired by Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) Peace Panel Chair Mohagher Iqbal, CBCP President Archbishop Jose Palma said he sees no problem for the Catholic prelates issuing a statement on the ongoing peace talks between the government and the MILF.
“Nakiki-isa po tayo sa panawagan na magkaroon ng kapayapaan sa Mindanao at sa buong bansa dahil ang peace talks ay very important issue. Makakaasa po kayo na maglalabas tayo ng statement sa bagay na yan,” said Palma.
The Cebu archbishop, however, stressed that he cannot issue an immediate statement since he still has to consult his fellow bishops.
He added they are also interested first in knowing the actual status of the peace talks in the Southern Philippines.
“Kailangan ko muna i-meet ang mga kapwa ko obispo, ang mga bumubuo ng CBCP at pag-aaralan namin yan bago mag-come up ng isang statement. Sana po maintindihan nila na hindi lamang ako ang nagpapasya diyan. Nangingibabaw po sa amin ang communal discernment,” said Palma.
The next CBCP Plenary Assembly, which is the highest decision-making body of the conference, is set next month.
Last week, Iqbal called on the CBCP to issue a definitive stand on the peace process just like anybody else in the country.
“It makes a lot of difference if they can be reached and then finally engage in a more positive way. After all, peace in Mindanao is for everybody and not only for the Moros,” Iqbal had said.
Last May, the Philippine government and the MILF went back to the negotiating table in Malaysia in a bid to make a step towards achieving peace in Mindanao. (HDT/Sunnex)