Let’s be grateful for peace accord–Deles

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Presidential Peace Adviser Teresita Quintos-Deles

This Christmas, Filipinos should be thankful for the landmark peace negotiations the government brokered with the Moro and communist rebel groups in 2012, according to Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process Teresita Deles.

Deles made this statement in her Christmas message Monday, even as it asked the public to continue extending assistance to individuals displaced by the recent killer typhoon that ravaged several towns in the Davao region.

She said helping those in need during the time of disasters shows “the true spirit of selflessness and solidarity.”

“This season, I share with the rest of the Filipino nation the hope that the blessings of peace will continue to unfold and the faith that the gains of the peace process will finally bring us the permanent peace that we all look forward to,” Deles said.

“As we reflect on our blessings, let us be reminded that Christmas is an opportune time to share these with our less fortunate brothers and sisters, especially those who have been heavily affected by Typhoon ‘Pablo,’” she added.

“Apart from enduring the calamity, they have also been bearing the brunt of armed conflict which has been raging in their areas. It is during these times of disasters, whether natural or caused by human action, that we become more united as a people.”

After signing the historic framework agreement with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), Deles said government peace negotiators were able to broker a 27-day ceasefire with the National Democratic Front, the political arm of the Communist Party of the Philippines.

She said the ceasefire was the “longest Christmas truce between the two parties.”

“Both have agreed to continue discussions that will hopefully lead to an extended, indefinite truce,” she said.

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