Bangsamoro peace pact signed
MANILA, Philippines – Peace at last.
After 17 years, the Philippines made history on Thursday after its government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) signed the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro.
GPH peace panel chair Miriam Coronel-Ferrer and MILF panel chief Mohagher Iqbal led the signing of the five-page document that will create the Bangsamoro autonomous political entity in Mindanao.
Witnessed by President Benigno Aquino III and Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak, the CAB signing marked the culmination of the 17 years of peace negotiations between the two parties and the supposed end to decades of armed conflict in Mindanao.
Earlier in the ceremony, Secretary Teresita Quintos Deles, presidential adviser on the peace process, declared that there will be “no more war” after the signing of the deal.
“No more war, no more children scampering for safety, no more evacuees…no more poverty, no more fear…Tama na (Enough), we are all tired of them,” she said during her speech at the Malacanang grounds.
Deles said the “new dawn” after the signing of the historic agreement will ensure that “no family will be forced to drive their children away for fear of being maimed or wounded by conflict.”
Meanwhile, MILF chief Al Haj Murad Ebrahim said that the CAB is for the benefit of the MNLF, as well as the other groups in Mindanao.
“The Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro (CAB) is not only for the MILF (Moro Islamic Liberation Front). It is also for the MNLF (Moro National Liberation Front) as well,” Murad declared.
“I would like to impress upon all of you that the MILF will not and does not ever will claim sole ownership to the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro. The MILF recognizes…the valiant efforts and sacrifices of countless people for freedom and self-determination,” he said.
He said the MILF will only serve as a gatekeeper during the transition period towards a Bangsamoro autonomous political entity.
On the other hand, Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak said Malaysia will continue to aid the Philippines in its quest for peace.
“This promise stands for as long as it is needed. Malaysia remains a partner for peace and development,” he said.
The Prime Minister said the two countries’ cooperation was “strengthened by tragedy” after Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 disappeared, leading to the loss of 239 lives.
He said Malaysia was thankful for the Philippines’ aid in the search of the Malaysia Airlines.
“We wish for nothing more than peace and prosperity for our brothers and sisters in the Bangsamoro and the Philippines,” Najib said.
“I pledge Malaysia’s continuous support…we will continue working through the international monitoring team in Mindanao,” he said.
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