Deles says roadmap to a lasting peace in Mindanao is done within boundaries of the Constitution

March 5, 2014 10:53 am 

By Ben Cal

MANILA, Mar. 4 (PNA) -– The government’s comprehensive roadmap to a lasting peace in Mindanao is done within the boundaries of the Constitution that will strengthen the politics of reconciliation and build an economy of equal opportunity to everyone – Muslim, Christian or Indigenous Peoples, according to Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process Teresita Quintos-Deles

Deles extensively discussed last week about the Bangsamoro peace agreement before the officers and staff of the Lina Group of Companies (LGC).

“Through the Bangsamoro, we shall strengthen the politics of reconciliation and build an economy of equal opportunity. No one – Muslim, Christian, or Indigenous Peoples – will be left behind,” she said.

“Each will enjoy the benefits of good governance, social equity, and, most of all, the rule of law in a society of cultural and religious diversity,” she said.

Deles said that with the positive trust ratings of President Benigno S. Aquino III, the peace process in the Mindanao could weather impending challenges.

She said the country has an “overwhelming domestic political capital” to achieve lasting peace in Mindanao.”

“Let me say before you today that never have we had the overwhelming domestic and political capital to make this peace deal endure with stability and permanence,” Deles added.

“With the leadership of our President, P-Noy, who has enjoyed the highest sustained trust ratings of any President in our history, plus the massive international support that is funneling into the Mindanao peace process, we can overcome all the spoilers, we can obtain the support we need to build the Bangsamoro, we will win this game – this historical endeavor – in the end,” she pointed out.

Deles was referring to the new Bangsamoro region that will be established as a result of the negotiations between the government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF). Both parties are expected to sign the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro (CAB), which is the final peace deal, at the end of this month.

Both sides have earlier signed the fourth and last annex of the Framework Agreement on the Bangsamoro (FAB), making a great leap in completing the CAB.

The CAB comprises the FAB and its annexes on Transitional Arrangements and Modalities, Revenue Generation and Wealth Sharing, Power Sharing, and Normalization, as well as the Addendum on Bangsamoro Waters and Zones of Joint Cooperation.

Deles said among the qualities of the current southern peace talks are the gradual decommissioning of firearms on the ground, which she described as a “true testament to the sincerity and genuine desire of the MILF to fully embrace the cause of peace.”

“As business people, you know how vital peace and order is to the growth of your companies. The peace agreement covers this, with provisions for the creation of a Bangsamoro police force, based on recommendations of an Independent Commission on Policing and under the umbrella of one Philippine National Police, to enforce law and order and secure the Bangsamoro from terrorism and religious extremism,” she said.

“Human security, combined with additional sources of revenues under the Annex on Wealth-Sharing for social services, infrastructure development and environment management, will sustain peace and productivity in the Bangsamoro communities,” she added.

“This is our comprehensive peace roadmap for Mindanao. As you can see, the process is very detailed, and also very, very challenging,” she added.“Our roadmap is designed precisely to ensure that everything is done within the boundaries of our Constitution including its flexibilities, accompanied by broad consultations, and a very transparent, inclusive, and democratic process,” she said.

As the southern peace agreement brings stability, Deles said a new regime of peace from the upcoming Bangsamoro political entity in southern Philippines will enable the country, especially Mindanao to benefit optimally from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) economic integration that will start next year.

“As we prepare for the ASEAN economic integration that takes place next year, we are doing our own economic integration at the national and regional levels, with a more peaceful Mindanao emerging as our attractive gateway to global and regional trade and investments. Two of our neighbors, Indonesia and Malaysia, have among the largest Muslim constituencies in the world. Poised to achieve peaceful transformation into a viable and sustainable political and economic entity, the Bangsamoro shall be our front door to regional trade,” she said.

The regional ASEAN bloc will harmonize and pare away trade and economic barriers starting late next year under its ASEAN Economic Community strategic plan. This will make easier the movement of goods, services and finance between the bloc’s 10 member-nations.(PNA)



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