Cotabato City (12 February 2015) – Governor Mujiv Hataman of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) has urged lawmakers to not give up on the ongoing peace process between government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), even in the aftermath of the January 25 deadly encounter in Mamasapano, Maguindanao.
He said the incident should not discourage lawmakers from supporting the passage of the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) and the eventual establishment of the Bangsamoro government.
The peace process, he said, provides the most viable option to end decades of conflict, displacement and underdevelopment in parts of Mindanao.
Hataman cited the more than P3-billion record worth of investments that have poured into ARMM in 2014 as one of the dividends of peace.
ARMM’s board of investment is also set to approve close to a billion worth of additional investments by end of the month.
The promise of a long-term peace, according to Hataman, has encouraged investors to put their money in a region, which they have long disregarded due to its volatile socio-economic climate.
He said the clash in Mamasapano came at a time when people in the ARMM have their hopes high for the passage of the BBL and the enforcement of a political solution that would address the legitimate grievances of the Moro people and usher in needed development.
Hataman said lawmakers must not allow the incident to undermine the years of rigorous peace negotiations that both government and MILF worked hard on.
He described the outcome of a bungled police operation in Barangay Tukanalipao in Mamasapano, Maguindanao on January 25 as shocking and painful. But he said that it is also equally shocking and painful to hear some sectors call for an all-out war in Mindanao in response.
“Huwag po tayong bumitaw. Ituloy po natin ang paghahanap ng pangmatagalang kapayapaan sa Mindanao, ituloy po natin ang usaping pangkapayapaan (Let us not give up. Let us continue working for an enduring peace in Mindanao, let us continue the peace process),” he said. (Bureau of Public Information-ARMM)