CBCP applauds latest development in peace negotiation in mindanao

January 27, 2014 11:17 pm 

MANILA, Jan. 27 — The head of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) said that it is a “positive step” towards peace, the latest development in the ongoing peace negotiations between the Government of the Philippines (GPH) and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF).

“Any step towards peace is a positive step. The Church exists so there may be peace among men and women. And any step towards peace is blessed by God and is blessed by the Church,” said CBCP President Archbishop Socrates Villegas in a press briefing on Monday after the 108th Plenary Assembly.

He noted that the CBCP is one with both parties in pushing for peace in the region.

Villegas added that they will continue to pray for the peace efforts to be realized in Mindanao.

“The first contribution of the Church to anything is always prayer… even if they are not willing to ask for it, we are praying for the success of their negotiations,” the Lingayen-Dagupan prelate said.

Last Saturday, GPH peace panel chair Miriam Coronel-Ferrer and MILF peace panel head Mohagher Iqbal have agreed on the Annex on Normalization, resulting to the completion of the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro (CAB).

According to Presidential Spokesman Edwin Lacierda and MILF Vice Chairman for Political Affairs Ghadzali Jaafar, they are looking to sign the final peace pact next month or in March.

The CAB will be the basis for the drafting of the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL), which shall pave the way for the creation of the Bangsamoro region that will be replacing the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM).

Meanwhile, the bishops expressed grief over the resurgence of violence in Maguindanao between the military and the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF).

“Unfortunately, another conflict erupted again in Maguindanao… this is another threat to our peace,” Villegas said.

He related that Cardinal-elect Cotabato Archbishop Orlando Quevedo had to rush to the area to personally attend to the needs of the faithful affected by the hostilities erupted last Saturday. (PNA)

LGI/FGP/UTB

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