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MNLF, politicians urged to rally behind GPH-MILF peace pact

by: January 29, 2014 5:09 pm Category: News A+ / A-

COTABATO CITY (MindaNews / 29 January) – Civil society leaders in Mindanao on Wednesday called on the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) and political leaders to back the peace process between the Government of the Philippines (GPH) and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF).

They issued the call as peace rallies were simultaneously held in the different parts of the island to drumbeat support to the ongoing GPH-MILF peace process after both sides signed the last Annex on Normalization to the Framework Agreement on the Bangsamoro (FAB).

“Kami ay nakikiusap at nanawawagan na pagbigyan natin ng pagkakataon itong kasalukuyang paguusap dahil sa tingin namin ito yung pinakamagandang alternatibo para maayos ang conflict sa Mindanao (We appeal and call on everybody to give chance to the ongoing peace process because we believe this is the best alternative to resolve the conflict in Mindanao),” said Abdulbasit “Bobby” Benito, Bangsamoro Center for Just Peace executive director.

Aside from the contending MNLF factions and certain politicians, including Zamboanga Rep. Celso Lobregat (1st District), who opposed the FAB, he also addressed the appeal to the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters.

Lobregat has raised concern over the constitutionality of some provisions of the FAB and the annexes.

Huwag ipairal ang interest ng organisasyon at ng sarili, tingnan natin ang kapakanan ng mas nakakarami (Let us not allow organizational and personal interests to prevail over the welfare of the majority),” Benito said.

Benito added they are saddened that there are still peace spoilers now that the GPH and MILF peace process is going smoothly and almost completed.

Both sides need to only sign the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro (CAB), their final peace agreement, and the enactment of the Bangsamoro Basic Law by Congress and its ratification so the implementation process can start.

Benito said there is an avenue to properly bring whatever concerns groups or sectors have on the GPH-MILF talks, and that is the Bangsamoro Transition Commission (BTC) and the public consultations ongoing around the different parts of Mindanao.

The BTC is task to draft the BBL.

Benito stressed the GPH-MILF peace process is inclusive and that all people in the proposed Bangsamoro territory can join the democratic exercise by running for office once elections are called.

Guimel Alim, chairman of the Consortium of Bangsamoro Civil Society, Inc., backed the sentiments of Benito in asking those opposed to support the GPH-MILF peace process.

“We call upon all sectors to provide the ongoing peace process the maximum chance and opportunity to finish the job even as we exercise our democratic rights to be heard,” he said.

Alim said the two sides should be given conducive political climate as they wrap up the peace negotiation justly and rightly to its final conclusion.

“We call upon the Bangsamoro, armed and unarmed groups, our political leaders, the religious sector, academe and professionals and the masses to work together in solidarity for the sake of peace in the Bangsamoro.

Lawyer Mary Ann Arnado, secretary general of the Mindanao People’s Caucus, also appealed to the political leaders, especially those from Mindanao, to give the GPH-MILF peace agreement a chance to take off and get fully implemented.

“It is high time to set aside personal political interests for the higher cause of peace and genuine development of our people,” she said.

“Let us not allow the horrors of the MOA-AD (Memorandum of Agreement on Ancestral Domain) to repeat itself by placating and patronizing recycled arguments of politicians that have long been addressed already by the peace panels,” she added.

MNLF, politicians urged to rally behind GPH-MILF peace pact Reviewed by on . COTABATO CITY (MindaNews / 29 January) – Civil society leaders in Mindanao on Wednesday called on the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) and political leader COTABATO CITY (MindaNews / 29 January) – Civil society leaders in Mindanao on Wednesday called on the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) and political leader Rating: