PEACETALK: Historic victory

(Letter of Moro Islamic Liberation Front chair Al Haj Murad Ebrahim to presumptive President-elect Rodrigo Duterte on 10 May 2016).

His Excellency
President-Elect RODRIGO R. DUTERTE
Davao City

Dear President-Elect Duterte,

On behalf of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) and the Bangsamoro people, it is with great pleasure and gladness on my part to extend our heartfelt congratulations to you on your historic victory in the May 9, 2016 presidential election.

It is indeed a historic victory because for the first time in the history of this country, a true son of Mindanao in whose veins Moro blood runs is now the 16th President of the Republic of the Philippines.

The MILF, as a revolutionary organization that represents our people’s struggle for self-determination, remains highly optimistic and confident that your victory would carry with it our hopes and aspirations for peace and justice in Mindanao. Your defense of the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) before and during the election campaign has in fact infused these optimism and confidence among our people, which should explain why they overwhelmingly supported your candidacy.

In this regard, any initiative by your administration that would rectify the historical injustices committed on us and institute an enduring peace and development in our territories would be fully supported by the MILF and the Bangsamoro people.

Furthermore, your message of justice, freedom, equality and social justice resonates with our aspiration for genuine change. This was emphasized when we signed the Framework Agreement on the Bangsamoro (FAB), and subsequently the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro (CAB), wherein it is stipulated as a matter of fundamental principle that the “status quo is unacceptable” to both the MILF and the GPH. Your platform for system change precisely captures this principle. It is thus in our best interest that your advocacy for federalism entrenches our aspiration for genuine self-rule in our homeland through the implementation of the CAB to put an end to the debilitating conflict that breeds anarchy and stimulates the rise of extremism.

Hopefully, through your efforts this can be realized by both Moros and Filipinos so that we can achieve unity and reconciliation as two nations or as

component multi-nations enjoying parity of esteem and internal self-determination, and united together in a federalized association for the betterment of the Philippine State.

Towards this end, rest assured that we will partner with you and your administration.

Again, Mr. President-elect, we heartily congratulate you on your resounding victory.

Sincerely yours,