Responding to the mission of Peacemaking

At the beginning of the mandate, let me briefly state the following…

First, I wish to thank President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo for her trust and confidence for giving me the mandate.  She assures me not only of her Government’s policy of the “Primacy of the Peace Process” but more so of her unstinting support and commitment to the Peace Process and my leadership as Chief Negotiator of the Government of the Republic of the Philippines in our continuing peace process with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF). I shall brief her and the Cabinet on a regular basis on the progress of the Peace Process.  To show her support and commitment, she has given me full power and confidence to write the specifications of the mandate that need to be added to the existing one

Second, I wish to express that though I am religious, I am NOT a Messiah! I cannot promise the fruit, but I can promise you that I will do my outmost to the cause of Peace.  For the in the final analysis after all is done and said including our fine statecraft, genuine and sustainable Peace is a gift from God and the work of people of goodwill.  Thus I wish that all people of goodwill become stakeholders to peace and pray for lasting Peace.

Third, at the early stage, I give my commitment to make the many and varied tracts of peace making as inclusive as possible. We need you participation and your input.  While you may know that I am a man and a religious with strong ideas, opinions and beliefs, but people who have worked with me know also that I am very open not only to listen to other views but also ready to revise or discard my own strong opinions if warranted.  Thus, I assure you that the GRP panel under my leadership shall listen to your input and shall welcome your participation.  I firmly believe that we need to build PEACE CONSTITUENCY not only in Mindanao but in the entire Philippines to make Peace sustainable.

Fourth, I wish to thank Secretary Silvestre Afable and his team for their great and wonderful work.  Rest assured of the continuity of the process as Secretary Jesus Dureza articulated in his Saturday announcement of my appointment, the changing of the guards guarantees a seamless transition.  It is not only a continuity of the work but we shall use the work and the commitment of Secretary Afable as our “benchmark” in our continuing peace process.

All people of goodwill can be involved in peace making… actions, words, thoughts and prayers. Let us all be peacemakers!  I wish to conclude this short note with two quotations: “Blessed are the peacemakers, they shall be called sons and daughters of God.” (Matthew 5: 9) and in one of the traditions of the path (tariqa), it is said that “Peace is the remembrance of God”.

 

 

 

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