President Aquino: Bangsamoro pact is a path to permanent change in the status quo in Mindanao

March 28, 2014 9:38 am 

By Azer N. Parrocha

MANILA, March 27 (PNA) — President Benigno S. Aquino III said Thursday that the signing of the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro (CAB) was a path that could lead Muslim Mindanao to permanent change in its status quo.

During his speech at the signing ceremony held in Kalayan Grounds in Malacanang, the President mentioned how Mindanao has been “left in the margins” for so long.

“For generations, fellow Filipinos in the region were embroiled in a cycle of poverty, injustice, and violence,” the President said.

“The huge imbalance between Muslim Mindanao and the rest of the country served to breed resentment, and consequently insurgency,” he added.

The President said that the best way to address the root cause of conflict was to “close the gap between the region and the rest of Filipino society.”

“We must therefore give them a significant boost up, so that they can catch up,” he said.

President Aquino then assured that despite the presence of fronts that sought to derail the peace process, the national government will continue to exert efforts into “marking the path of peace.”

“To those who will not join us, I ask: Are you really that confident that we will have another singular opportunity like the one we have today?” the President said.

“May this also stand as a warning to those who wish to derail our path to a final, lasting peace—those who wish to sow divisiveness for self-interest, and those who continue to wield arms to pursue their own agendas,” he further said.

“So many people have suffered for so long; so many of our stakeholders have worked so hard to arrive at this point. I will not let peace be snatched from my people again,” he added. (PNA)

CTB/ANP

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