PASIG CITY (03 AUGUST 2022) — Presidential Adviser on Peace, Reconciliation and Unity (PAPRU) Secretary Carlito G. Galvez, Jr. renewed on Tuesday his call for unity, mutual understanding and cooperation among stakeholders in the Bangsamoro.

This developed as Galvez urged Bangsamoro leaders to keep the welfare of the Bangsamoro people in mind in order to achieve genuine peace and sustainable development in the region.

“We believe that everyone in the Bangsamoro shares the same dreams, hopes and aspirations. We therefore encourage them to engage in open and peaceful dialogue in order to resolve pressing issues facing them,” Galvez said.

“Let us all work for the common good. After all, we are all bound by our collective desire to bring long-lasting peace and economic development in the region, and consequently, uplift the lives of the Bangsamoro people,” he added.

Galvez called for an end to political bickering which is sowing anger, division, and discord among the people. If left unaddressed, he said this could undermine the gains achieved under the peace process over the years.

“My friends, the national elections are over. Let us set aside the animosity created by this political exercise and work together. The only way we can move forward is to heed President Ferdinand Marcos Jr’s call for unity among Filipinos,” Galvez said.

“Three years from now, the first regular BARMM elections will be held. Until such time, there is a need for us to provide the BARMM leadership with all the support it needs so that it can continue to effectively serve its people,” he said.

In an earlier statement, Galvez urged “all stakeholders in the Bangsamoro region to join in unity and place foremost the National Interest and the welfare of the Bangsamoro people before any and all political ambition, self-interest, and personal or pecuniary gain.”

“We invite all to heed the President’s words and reject the culture and politics of division, animosity, and fear,” he said.

Galvez pointed out that the extension of the term of office of the Bangsamoro Transition Authority (BTA) until 2025 is supported by the Marcos administration, as this will allow the Moro Islamic Liberation Front and the Moro National Liberation Front “to prove their work and have their chance to govern, and not for any political motivations or reasons.”

He added that the BTA’s extension will allow the harmonization of the 1976 Tripoli Agreement, the 1996 Final Peace Agreement, and the 2014 Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro (CAB), as well as to “ensure the continuity of service to the Bangsamoro people through building the crucial foundations of a working and inclusive Bangsamoro government representative of the genuine aspirations of the Bangsamoro people.”

Last month, Galvez held a series of dialogues with Bangsamoro leaders and peace partners in the cities of Davao and Cotabato and in Manila which he described as “very substantive and fruitful.”

“They reaffirmed, without equivocation, their commitment to securing and building on the gains of the peace process and fully supporting all initiatives towards this by the administration of President Ferdinand Romualdez Marcos Jr,” Galvez said.

He noted the Marcos administration’s commitment to the Bangsamoro peace process is evident in the issuance Memorandum Order No. 1 which authorized him to remain as presidential peace adviser in a hold-over capacity.

The memorandum, which was signed by Executive Secretary Victor Rodriguez, emphasized that there will be “no interruption or disruption of the activities of the OPAPRU and the implementation of the comprehensive Philippine peace process.”

“The Marcos Administration really has a very good appreciation of the Bangsamoro peace process. The President and all the members of his cabinet recognize the need to push forward the comprehensive peace process,” Galvez said.

Galvez said several coordination meetings were held to ensure the smooth reconstitution of the new set of BTA members.

“We have been in close coordination with Executive Secretary Victor Rodriguez and Special Assistant to the President Sec. Anton Lagdameo Jr., and other members of the Cabinet to discuss the new set of the BTA members,” Galvez said.

Galvez said President Marcos gave a clear-cut instruction to ensure the implementation of the Bangsamoro peace agreements.

“President Marcos is fully aware of the situation in the Bangsamoro. He puts premium on the welfare of the Bangsamoro people,” he said.

Galvez said the President earlier laid out his call for peace to reign in the country as highlighted in his inaugural speech.

“We all want peace in our land. You and your children want a good chance at a better life; in a safer, more prosperous country. All that is within reach of a hardworking, warm, and giving race. Your dreams are mine; pangarap niyo ay pangarap ko,” President Marcos said in his inaugural speech. ###

[FEATURED: File Photo of PAPRU Sec. Carlito G. Galvez, Jr.]