Preserve and Pursue the gains of the GPH-MILF Peace Process

CBCS LogoFebruary 18, 2013

The Peace Negotiations entered into by and between the Government of the Philippines (GPH) and Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) have been a peaceful alternative method in resolving the Bangsamoro question. When this approach fails would mean going back to war as other way of resolving conflict, which would again claim lives and damage properties.

When the Peace Panels of both the GPH and MILF don’t take care of the peace process, it would mean they don’t take care of the lives and properties of the civilians that are always losers in war.

The signing of the Framework Agreement on the Bangsamoro (FAB) is a gain that should always be preserved, and it should be fenced strongly with resoluteness so that no one can sneak it before the eyes of the government and MILF who have been in painstaking negotiations to reach a wise agreement that will finally bring into a total halt the hateful bloodshed in Mindanao.

The unshakeability of stance of the peace panels to stand pat against the peace spoilers they meet along their way would only mean that they are heroically fighting for the rights of the powerless civilians that still have not recovered from the bad impact of war, saving their lives from death, and guarding their properties from damage.

The difficulties and hardships that have been confronting the peace panels while advancing negotiations are but trials that test their firmness and stamina to withstand and surmount the challenges of attaining real peace and meaningful development in the region.

What is happening in Sabah is a situation that should be handled properly so that it will not destroy the peace process. This condition can be capitalized by those who do not want peace to reign in Mindanao if we are not vigilant enough.

The Consortium of Bangsamro Civil Society Organizations (CBCS), a broad coalition of the Bangsamoro civil society organizations in the Philippines, believes that the best way to resolve the crisis in Sabah is through peaceful means.

To finish the talks between the government and MILF is believed to be an urgent thing to do. Under the would-be New Bangsamoro Government, it is believed that resolving the Bangsamoro question the Sabah issue can be dealt with easier as we can easily understand and help each other.

In this juncture, the CBCS puts the following calls forward:

  1. The GPH and MILF must preserve the gains of the peace process and continue the negotiations on the other unresolved annexes so that Comprehensive Agreement will successfully be come up in due time, and the peace panels must never be influenced by the ideas of unscrupulous politicians, ill-minded groups and individuals, and carpetbaggers who want to destroy the peace process for their personal interests because negotiation is the lone hope for peace and progress in Mindanao;
  2. The Philippine and Malaysian Governments should deal with the Sabah Crisis as a separate issue that does not disturb the GPH-MILF peace Process;
  3. The GPH and MILF peace panels with a participation of the third party facilitator should make a Joint Policy Statement concerning the Sabah standoff for its peaceful resolution, that would embrace the human rights situation therein, and
  4. The media should avoid sensationalizing issues on Sabah to prevent making the problem more complex.

Furthermore, the CBCS is calling on all peace loving people of the country and other nations to support the peace process between the GPH and MILF until the Comprehensive Agreement is achieved so that the seemingly endless carnage in Mindanao will finally be capped.

Finally, the CBCS is expressing its profound thanks and appreciation to President Noynoy Aquino for his effort in trying to reach out to the Malaysian Government to diplomatically address the Sabah issue, and for his firm stance in sustainably pursuing the peace process with the MILF until the political agreement is finally achieved. It is likewise expressing gratitude and appreciation to the MILF in standing firm in neutral ground over the Sabah issue in the name of peace, for the welfare of the whole Bangsamoro people and the resolution of the age-old armed conflict in Mindanao. We also commend the Malaysian government and its facilitator for being resolute in facilitating the GPH-MILF Peace Talks and efforts to deal the Sabah and GPH-MILF Peace Talks as separate issues.

 

Spokesperson(s):

Bobby Benito (09266421280) for Cotabato City activity

Dats Magon (09176228317) for Metro Manila activity

CBCS Statement Re Sabah Issue