OPAPP Media: P-Noy admin determined to complete GPH-MNLF peace process

March 2, 2012 10:24 am 

Bandung, Indonesia, Mar. 1 – Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process Teresita Quintos-Deles on Thursday reiterated the current administration’s resolve to complete the peace process with the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF).

In her opening message during the first day of the 2nd Ad Hoc High Level (AHHL) Group Meeting held here, the peace adviser said that the Government of the Philippines (GPH) is serious in its intent with the presence of officials from the national, regional and local levels in the said assembly.

"We come to the table bringing with us the full force of government…to demonstrate the seriousness in government’s intent, under the leadership of President Benigno Simeon Aquino III, to bring proper completion and closure to a process that has gone on for far too long,” she stated.

Deles was joined by sub-cabinet level representatives of other members of the GPH-AHHLG, namely Undersecretary Jose Luis Gascon of the Office of the Presidential Adviser on Political Affairs; Justice Undersecretary Leah Armamento; Deputy Director-General Zenonida Brosas of the National Security Council; Commissioner Edilwasif Baddiri of the National Commission on Muslim Filipinos; and Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) Officer-in-Charge Regional Vice Governor Bainon Karon. Agencies accompanying the process in advisory capacity were also represented by Undersecretary Nabil Tan of the Office of the Executive Secretary and Undersecretary Rafael Seguis of the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA).

Mindanao political leaders, by invitation of the Government, attended the meeting as observers of the process. These include the governors and congressmen, such as Basilan Gov. Jum Akbar, Lanao del Sur Gov. Mamintal Adiong, Jr., Maguindanao Gov. Esmael Mangundadatu, Sulu Gov. Sakur Tan, Tawi-Tawi Gov. Sahidula Sahali, Cong. Jesus Sacdalan, attending as chair of the House Special Committee on Peace, Unification and Reconciliation, and Cong. Sandra Sema.

The AHHL Group, which is composed of representatives from the GPH and the MNLF, was created by the parties to move forward the Tripartite Review on the implementation of the 1996 Final Peace Agreement (FPA).

The Organization of Islamic Cooperation – Peace Committee for the Southern Philippines (OIC-PCSP), chaired by Indonesian Ambassador Rezlan I. Jenie, facilitated the AHHL meeting.

Deles said that the purpose of the tripartite meeting is “not to renegotiate the Agreement but rather to review its implementation towards its full compliance by the two parties.”

“We remain committed to this intent. It is why we are here, despite the difficult twists and challenges we have encountered along the way,” she added.

ARMM reform

Deles related that the government will present report on the progress of the reforms being undertaken in ARMM.

Further, she cited some developments in the reform agenda, such as the “housekeeping and re-engineering of the regional government side-by-side with massive financial infusion for social services and infrastructure being poured into ARMM including targeted development assistance to the MNLF Peace and Development Communities, which were constituted following the signing of the 1996 Final Peace Agreement.”

Convergence approach to Mindanao

Deles also said that the government is pursuing a “convergence approach to peace in Mindanao.”

“We are confident that the results of this OIC-GPH-MNLF tripartite review, together with the culmination of the GPH-MILF (Moro Islamic Liberation Front) peace talks and joined with current efforts to reform and strengthen the ARMM under the stewardship of the officer-in-charge regional government, will herald a new chapter in the long and valorous history of the Bangsamoro.”

She related that the government’s peace negotiations with the MILF are now on its substantive stage.

“We have firm basis to hope that a peace agreement with the MILF may be attained within the year. Such achievement, together with the completion of the Implementation of the 1996 Final Peace Agreement ensuing from this tripartite review process, ushers in the hope for the most comprehensive, responsive and enduring resolution of the conflict in the south,” she explained.

Deles expressed “appreciation for the efforts of the OIC, especially the Secretary General, His Excellency Professor Eklemedin Ihsanoglu, in cultivating an enabling environment for more consultations and cooperation between the two Moro fronts that both seek the advancement of the right to self-governance of one and the same people in one and the same homeland.”

On the same note, she said that the Philippine government deeply values the efforts of the OIC-PCSP in facilitating the review of the implementation of the 1996 FPA. (PNA) RSV/mmg

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