Honasan urges Misuari to give framework agreement a chance

October 18, 2012 10:07 pm 

By Jelly F. Musico

MANILA, Oct. 18 – Saying peace cannot be achieved overnight, Senator Gregorio ‘Gringo’ Honasan II on Thursday urged Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) founding chairman Nur Misuari to give the recently-signed peace framework agreement with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) a chance.

”I hope even chairman Misuari should accept that, let us give peace a chance,” Honasan said in a Senate media forum.

Honasan is hoping that the warning of Misuari that the MNLF has 17,000 forces was just a noise in reaction to the framework agreement that was signed between the Philippine government and the MILF last Monday in Malacanang.

”I hope that it was just a noise because the government peace panel and Islamic revolutionary groups have worked hard for this framework agreement. This will benefit the whole country,” Honasan, a former military colonel, said.

Honasan said the forged framework agreement was just the start of the unified effort to achieve peace in Mindanao.

”The harder part, as the President described, will probably bear fruit on or before the end of his term in 2016. So, it’s still a long journey before we can see the fruit of this agreement,” the lawmaker said.

He said the success of the framework agreement would also defend on the political will not only on the part of the government but the whole Filipino people.

”Nobody would say it would be achieved overnight. We have to develop what we call ‘peace constituency’ so that everybody will be involved,” Honasan said.

Honasan said 40 years of arm struggle should come to an end so that the people of Mindanao can now leave a peaceful life and economic development will finally be achieved in the region.

”To make it work is a challenge not only for chairman Misuari and the panels who have agreed on this Framework for Peace but for the entire citizenry, especially in Mindanao which might be a good blueprint for other rebel groups, including the stalled peace process with the CPP-NPA-NDF,” Honasan said.

He added that the real enemy is not the rebel groups but poverty, lack of justice, shelter, medical services.

Honasan said the framework agreement would require mutual trust and confidence and not suspicion and distrust. (PNA)

SCS/JFM

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