Aquino leads signing of peace pact with MILF, says he will aggressively push basic law

March 28, 2014 9:38 am 

MANILA, March 27 — President Benigno S. Aquino III led Thursday the signing of the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro (CAB) aimed at ending decades-long conflict that claimed the lives of hundreds of people in Muslim Mindanao.

The President and Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak witnessed the signing of agreement at the Kalayaan grounds in Malacanang, Thursday.

In his message prior to the signing, the President said he will aggressively push for a just and equitable Bangsamoro Basic Law after the signing of the said agreement.

“My administration will go all out to forge a principled consensus for enduring security and prosperity; I expect the deliberations in Congress to be characterized by a sincere desire to improve on the Bangsamoro Basic Law—and not by self-interest that only aims to perpetuate an untenable status quo,” the President said in his speech.

The President said that currently, the Bangsamoro Transition Commission is working hard to draft an equitable, practical, and empowering, Bangsamoro Basic Law that will serve the interests of the entire nation.

Their current mission is to draft and pass this law so that it will be presented to the people for ratification in a plebiscite, he said. The goal is to have the Bangsamoro Transition Authority in place by 2015 to serve as the interim Bangsamoro government until the elections in 2016.

At the same time, the President called on everyone to widen the avenues for trust and positive engagement and cast aside past prejudices and contribute to the atmosphere of optimism to sustain the momentum for the development of Mindanao.

It should be the paramount concern of all people of goodwill to do their part, replacing cynicism with hope, and sorrow with harmony, peace, and prosperity, the chief executive said.

The country must solve the huge imbalance between Muslim Mindanao and the rest of the country to start regional development.

“If we are to truly address the root causes of conflict, we must close the gap between the region and the rest of Filipino society,” the President said.

Among the signatories to the agreement were government chief negotiator Miriam Coronel-Ferrer, MILF chief negotiator Mohagher Iqbal and Malaysian facilitator Tengku Ghafar. (PNA)

CTB/PCOO/UTB

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