Speech of MILF Chairman Al-Hajj Murad Ebrahim during the Launch of the Bangsamoro Transition Commission

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte, the first Mindanaoan President of the Republic, Secretary Jesus “Jess” Dureza, Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process, Members of the Cabinet and other officials of Government, Local Government, Excellencies of the Diplomatic Corps, Members of the MILF Central Committee and fellow mujahedeen, Brothers from the MNLF, Traditional Leaders, Sectoral Leaders, CSO’s, Media, distinguished Guests; Brothers, sisters, friends, ladies and gentlemen, let me extend to you our fraternal greetings of peace,

Assalamo Alaykum Warahmatullahi Wa Barakatuh, very good afternoon:

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Speech of the MILF Chairman on the Occasion of the Launch of the New BTC

Speech of the MILF Chairman on the Occasion of the Launch of the New BTC
Water Front Hotel, Davao City | 24 February 2017

 

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte, the first Mindanaoan President of the Republic, Secretary Jesus “Jess” Dureza, Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process, Members of the Cabinet and other officials of Government, Local Government, Excellencies of the Diplomatic Corps, Members of the MILF Central Committee and fellow mujahedeen, Brothers from the MNLF, Traditional Leaders, Sectoral Leaders, CSO’s, Media, distinguished Guests; Brothers, sisters, friends, ladies and gentlemen, let me extend to you our fraternal greetings of peace,

Assalamo Alaykum Warahmatullahi Wa Barakatuh, very good afternoon:

Once again, we are gathered on this historic day for the launch, or more accurately, the re-launch of an expanded Bangsamoro Transition Commission (BTC). The creation of the BTC as the joint mechanism to write a proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law that will translate the provisions of the peace agreement into law was agreed by the parties more than two years ago when we signed the historic Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro (CAB).

The CAB is a comprehensive attempt to resolve the Bangsamoro Question, or as the President puts it more succinctly, an attempt to redress the historical injustice committed against the Moro People. As such it builds on the gains of previous peace agreements and preserves them while consciously addressing the gaps of the President to converge the peace agreements. It is our unyielding belief that we can work with our brothers and sisters from the MNLF.

As we re-launch the BTC today we rekindle the hope of thousands of our people for a peaceful and progressive Bangsamoro even if we are occasionally gripped by sadness at the failure earlier to pass the BBL. We must look back at those experiences, not with bitterness, but with an examining eye so that we may dissect the problems and address them. We must come out better prepared this time to respond to the challenges of legislation. The Filipino people must equally stand prepared to accept us as partners in achieving peace and progress, not only for this region but for the entire country.

Perhaps, this second chance is the best second chance anyone could possibly have. We stand today at a historic moment in our journey as a country where for the first time in over a hundred year of existence of this republic, we have today the first President from Mindanao, President Rodrigo Duterte. We also have the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Bebot Alvarez who is also from Mindanao. The Senate President, Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel II is also from Mindanao.

But far more substantial than this, we feel more confident in achieving a lasting solution today to the Moro Question than at any other time in our struggle, because we have a President who understands the history and root cause of the Moro Question. We note with great appreciation his speeches and commitment during the campaign of addressing the historical injustices committed against the Moro People. We watch with awe his bold pronouncements, I am sure, have endeared him to our people and so it is no surprise that the Moro people came in droves to vote for him.

And so, it is my firm belief that the launch today of the BTC is an important initial step in the many steps that we will have to take to address the historical injustice committed against our people. Along the way, I expect the BTC to encounter challenges. We must approach this challenges conscious not only of the sacredness of the peace agreement we forged but also of the opportunity as well to demonstrate that the three branches of our government can all work together to contribute in the epoch-making task of bring peace finally to our country. This unique opportunity is provided by the Constitution for the Executive to negotiate peace; for the Legislative to enact peace legislation; and for the Supreme Court to rule on constitutional issues for peace.

I am sure our challenges do not begin, nor end with the above, but for as long as we remain committed to implementing the peace agreement we signed, I am confident that we can surmount these challenges.

In closing, let me reiterate our message then of unity:

To our fellow brothers from the MNLF, let us close ranks and find strength in the convergence of our peace agreements.

To our fellow Mindanaoans, let us assert self-rule while committing to shared rule.

To the three branches of the government, let us demonstrate not just independence but interdependence as well so that we may all contribute to peace in our land.

To the Supreme Court, let us interpret the law, so that the ends of justice and equity as well.

May peace reign in the Bangsamoro. May peace reign in Mindanao. May peace reign in the country. May peace be unto you all. Thank you.

Wassalam.

By | February 27th, 2017|Features|0 Comments

Message of the Community of Sant’Egidio to GRP and MILF on the occasion of the Launch of the Bangsamoro Transition Commission Davao City, February 24th, 2017

The Community of Sant’Egidio hails with joy and congratulates the Government of the Philippines and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front for the Launch of the Bangsamoro Transition Commission which will be held in Davao on the coming February 24th, 2017.

Sant’Egidio hopes that the BTA work can decisively contribute to the full and effective re-establishment of peace with justice in the entire Mindanao area. In recognizing the importance of this historic moment for the Philippines, the Community of Sant’Egidio remains at the service of this important process of reconciliation, which today begins a new phase, that of its implementation by including all the different social, religious and civil realities.

As International Contact Group member of the Peace Talks, we also declare our full and continuous availability to offer generously our contribution to every possible facilitation of the peace process and of the enactment of the Bangsamoro Basic Law, urgent and valuable to Bangsamoro itself and, consequently, to the entire beloved country of the Philippines.

We are firmly convinced that true peace will be possible if everyone, ethnic and religious groups, political factions, local administrations, each minority of the whole of Mindanao, wants and can participate in its democratic and synergic construction. Peace will be authentic if it will be peace for all. The inclusion of everyone is crucial, at a social and political level, majorities and minorities, but all with the right to be represented.

With these feelings we would like to wish the parties a good work and a full success while we confirm that we remain your fellow travelers in the path toward a full peace.

Rome, February 23, 2017

Prof. Alberto Quattrucci
Secretary General P&R
Community of Sant’Egidio

By | February 24th, 2017|Features|0 Comments

Release of Political Prisoners as a Necessary Step to Achieve Peace

Mr. Presiding Officer, members of this august body, esteemed guests, ladies and gentlemen, a pleasant morning.

A week ago, 66 year-old Bernabe Ocasia became the 13th political prisoner to die in detention in the last five years, and the first under the administration of President Rodrigo R. Duterte. Ocasia had been in prison for over a decade before he suffered a massive stroke that led to his death. It is the fervent wish of many advocates and families of political prisoners pushing for the freedom of their loved ones that Ocasia will be the last political prisoner to suffer death without seeing the hands of justice turn. (more…)

By | December 15th, 2016|Features|0 Comments

Generation ‘Me’ transforms into Generation Peace

Today’s youth belonging to the millennial generation – sometimes called Generation ‘Me’ – are deemed accustomed to an ‘instant gratification’ lifestyle others quickly dismiss as misplaced entitlement. Bangsamoro leader Datu Beds Kali proves just how wrong this judgment through his diligent advocacy towards peace with fellow youth leaders. (more…)

By | October 18th, 2016|Features|0 Comments

Message of MILF Peace Implementing Panel Chair Mohagher Iqbal for the Peace Month

The Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) Peace Implementing Panel joins in the celebration of the National Peace Consciousness Month 2016, and congratulates the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process on its 23rd Anniversary. (more…)

By | September 29th, 2016|Features, MILF|0 Comments

North Samar Peace Month launches 2016 Peace Month

Participated by various national and local agencies, NGOs and the church, spearheaded by the Northern Samar Provincial Government in partnership with OPAPP supported by Provincial PAMANA Management Team, the launching of 2016 Peace Month was held successfully on Sept. 3, 2016, at Sacred Heart Plaza, Catarman, Northern Samar. (more…)

Message of Colonel Raniel T. Ramiro (MI) GSC PA, Chief, AFP Peace Process Office, for the 2016 National Peace Consciousness Month

Greetings of Peace!

On the President’s call for inclusive peace, the Armed Forces of the Philippines stands committed to support the government’s peace initiatives for a just and lasting peace in the country. Together with the various stakeholders and peace partners, the AFP joins them in preserving the gains of the peace process and the promotion of peace-building and sustainable development in conflict-affected communities.

In this year’s celebration of the National Peace Consciousness Month, the AFP continues to uphold its mandate of serving the Filipino people and protecting the sovereignty of the state, as it reiterates its unwavering support to the peaceful settlement of all armed conflicts essential to nation-building and development.

Change should start from each one of us and peace must also begin within us. We call on fellow Filipinos to rally behind the government’s call for genuine change and lasting peace in our country.

Tayo ang Pagbabago. Tayo ang Kapayapaan.

By | September 7th, 2016|Features|0 Comments

AFP Statement on signing of indefinite ceasefire (from Marine Colonel Edgard Arevalo, Chief, Public Affairs Office of the AFP)

“The AFP have noted with elation and optimism this breakthrough in the peace negotiations.

“It is a laudable move on the part of the CPP-NPA-NDF to respond positively to President Rodrigo Duterte’s declaration of reimposition of the Ceasefire “for as long as necessary” to attain lasting peace in the land.

“The AFP under the leadership of General Ricardo Visaya will continue to uphold the letter and spirit of the ceasefire declaration of the Commander-in-Chief. The nation can rely on every soldier, sailor, marines, and airmen to help provide an environment conducive to peace so that the negotiators from both panels can work under the climate of trust and the prospect of reconciliation.”