May 1, 2013: With the signing of the Framework Agreement on the Bangsamoro (FAB), dubbed as a Land Mark Agreement, a powerful light appeared at the center of the tunnel, which has illuminated our people who have been suffering from the darkness of the tunnel. Majority of our people including Civil Society Organizations, policy-makers, and the diplomatic community believe that the resolution of the Bangsamoro question is the only way to rebuilding the shattered Filipino-Moro relationship; hence putting into end bloodlettings in Mindanao, salvaging the Philippine shrinking moral image, and getting rid of its drowning economy due to the effect of the armed conflict in Mindanao and in the country in general.
The oppressed and marginalized Bangsamoro and the Filipinos who are not gaining profits out of the conflict in the country have common outcry; that is, to settle the Bangsamoro question immediately because delaying it further is tantamount to giving space again to bloodshed to take place, and giving chance to peace spoilers, carpetbaggers and unscrupulous individuals or a ruthless clique to sabotage the whole process for their personal gains and lust to rise into power.
The negotiations between the Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GPH) and Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), as how people understood it, are being undertaken with a sole intention of comprehensively addressing the Bangsamoro question based on their socio-economic and political belief and aspiration, not to use the negotiations to deviate the Bangsamoro from their course so that the results will all be of advantage to the government and the Filipino people in general. It is seriously wrong to believe that if the government will successfully bring the present negotiation into different way it will stall the strife in Mindanao as the Bangsamoro will support it. What is believable is that when the government will unabatedly pursue its old strategy of dilly-dallying the resolution of the conflict until the present generation of Bangsamoro leaders will no longer be capable, the problem will get more complicated, which will only continuously bring the Philippine economy down and further the relationship gaps of the peoples of the country.
The result of the 37th Exploratory is seen to have somewhat shaken the momentum of the entire peace process and smacked the overwhelming hope for peace of the rural people who have always been defeated in war.
The annexes on power-sharing and wealth-sharing have been initialed by the peace panels during the 36th Exploratory Talks, and there was one month given to the principals of both panels to study the documents, which mutually agreed across the negotiating table. Isn’t it an ample time for the principals to study it and come up with a decision? Why waiting for after elections and what’s its connection with it? Isn’t it unprincipled and bad attitude to have signed initially a certain documents then suddenly make major alterations? These are among other things that have made the people including some civil society organizations confused and bewildered.
We are afraid that the perspirations of the negotiating panels that poured off, the tears of the children and the old who have languished at their makeshifts hut in evacuation centers that dropped, the blood of the martyrs who died in the fight for peace and right to self-determination that spread out in the land of Mindanao, and that of the blood of the innocent civilians – both children and old – who died from indiscriminate bombardments and crossfires will curse the peace spoilers whether they are with the government, civil society organizations, or in the circle of the peace panels.
Hence, the UNYPAD calls on the President of the Republic of the Philippines, Benigno Simeon Aquino III, to be more determined and stand pat in finishing the GPH-MILF peace process the soonest possible time and be not influenced by the ominous plans of unscrupulous individuals to sabotage the peace talks.
Finally, the UNYPAD reiterates its all-out support to the GPH-MILF peace process and calls on all sectors of the society to support it so that peace and progress will finally be achieved in the country.
Reference Person: Datuan ‘Dats’ Magon Deputy Secretary General for Administration Mobile number: O9176228317 Telephone Number: (064) 421-6863