Signing of final Bangsamoro agreement a ‘global contribution in pursuit of peace’ –Ferrer

March 26, 2014 9:40 am 

By Azer N. Parrocha

MANILA, March 25 (PNA) — Government peace panel chairman Miriam Coronel-Ferrer on Tuesday said the signing of the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro (CAB) on Thursday (March 27) is not just a historic event for the Philippines, but also a global contribution to the pursuit of peace.

“It is also our global contribution to the pursuit of peace in our immediate neighborhood, the Southeast Asian region, and the rest of the world,” Ferrer said during a Palace media briefing.

Ferrer noted that the last momentous agreement of the same kind was that sealed in Aceh, Indonesia between the Republic of Indonesia and the Free Aceh Movement in 2005.

“Many other countries (that) face similar troubles are looking up to us to show the way or possible modalities by which they can also address their own domestic conflicts,” Ferrer noted.

“Our experience, our mechanisms, our approaches have become a rich source of inspiration to these countries that remain challenged by different sources of domestic hostility,” she added.

Meanwhile, she pointed out that the document will also be “unique” since it will be the first agreement to be signed by more than one woman.

“One half of the of the six-person negotiating team of the government and about one-fourth of the total number of signatories are women who will be signing the document,” Ferrer said.

Another woman, Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process Teresita Deles, will also be among the witnesses to the event.

CAB defined

Simply put, the CAB is a five-page, 12-point text that will formalize the totality of the different agreements that have been achieved between the government of the Philippines (GPH) and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), Ferrer said.

“…It puts together all of these signed agreements: the FAB, the annexes, and the addendum; also, the very first, very important ceasefire agreement of 1997 forged during the term of former President Fidel V. Ramos; the agreement on peace signed in 2001 in Tripoli, which laid down the agenda for the talks; the declaration of continuity of negotiations in June 2010, which picked up the pieces from the failed MOA-AD of 2008, among others,” she added.

She further explained that the CAB text to be signed will reiterate the principles of the negotiation which include:

*Recognition of the justness and legitimacy of the cause of the Bangsamoro people

*Their aspiration for a meaningful autonomy through a democratic process

*The aim of finding a solution to the Bangsamoro question with honor, justice, and dignity

*The aim to end the fighting between the government and the MILF and promote peace and stability

*The recognition of the responsibilities of the parties to protect and enhance the rights of the Bangsamoro people and all other inhabitants, correct historical injustice, and equitably diffuse wealth and political power

Document signatories

Ferrer said that on the government side, the signatories will be herself, panel members Senen Bacani; Yasmin Busran-Lao; Mehol Sadain, ex-officio member and Secretary of the National Commission on Muslim Filipinos; panel consultants Zenonida Brosas and Jose Luis Martin ‘Chito’ Gascon.

On the MILF side, the signatories will be Mohagher Iqbal, Datu Michael Mastura, Maulana ‘Bobby’ Alonto, Abhoud Syed Lingga, Abdullah Kamlian, and Datu Antonio Kinoc. The Malaysian facilitator Tengku Dato' Abdul Ghafar Tengku Mohamed will also sign as witness.

The signing will be done in the presence of Teresita Quintos-Deles, the OPAPP Secretary; Al Haj Murad Ebrahim, chair of the MILF Central Committee; President Benigno Aquino III, the president; and Dato' Sri Mohammad Najib bin Tun Haji Abdul Razak.

However, she also said that although Malaysian Prime Minister was willing to attend the event, the situation of the missing Malaysian aircraft was still keeping him preoccupied.

“…As you can understand the situation in Malaysia, it will depend on the prevailing circumstances that they have with regards to the problem of the missing plane,” Ferrer said.

“But, otherwise, it is quite important that the Prime Minister also come because of the very significant role that Malaysia has played in the process,” she added.

The signing will also be done in the presence of more than 1,000 people before the Palace grounds to demonstrate how the event is important to all Filipinos and not just the people of Mindanao. (PNA)



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