Peace advocates hail framework agreement

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Tuesday, October 9, 2012


THE Peace Advocates Zamboanga (PAZ) has praised and congratulated the Government of the Philippines (GPH) and Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) peace panels for successfully forging last Saturday the “Framework Agreement” in Malaysia.

PAZ is a Catholic organization whose objective is the promotion of peace by strengthening good relations among Muslims and Christians, and all other people.

“I urge all stakeholders to support this agreement as it provides a very clear plan on how to achieve a final and new autonomous government by not later than 2016,” PAZ president Fr. Angel Calvo said.

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“I am sure that with the level of commitment shown by the Aquino government and MILF leadership, plus the active support of international groups, real peace is dawning in Mindanao,” Calvo added.

Calvo, a Spanish priest, said the interim deal indicates that a growing culture of peace and non-violence has taken root among the protagonists--rebels, military, and national and local political leaders.

“Let us all work to make sure that such violent conflict will never have to happen again in Mindanao,” Calvo said as he noted that the framework agreement is made sacred by the blood of the estimated 150,000 people who have died in the course of the 40-year Bangsamoro rebellion.

However, he said the agreement will only bring peace if and when it will bring about true reconciliation based on social justice.

The Philippines and MILF negotiating panels will sign the agreement in Manila on October 15, to be witnessed by President Benigno Aquino and Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak.

The venue for the signing is still being worked out by both the GPH and MILF peace panels.

Initially, however, the GPH is eyeing Malacañang as the venue of the peace pact signing. (Bong Garcia)

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