Thursday, July 12, 2012

Deles says ‘time for peace is now'; cites P-Noy's efforts and 'whole-of-government' approach for peace in Mindanao

From the Website of OPPAP

Deles says ‘time for peace is now'; cites P-Noy's efforts and 'whole-of-government' approach for peace in Mindanao

  • Printer-friendly version
  • Share
Posted on Tuesday, 10 July, 2012 - 10:26

Sultan Kudarat, Maguindanao, July 10 - “The time for peace is now,” Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process Teresita Quintos Deles declared, emphasizing the ‘whole-of -government’ approach of the P-Noy administration in pushing for peace.
In her speech during the Moro Leaders' Assembly held over the weekend in Camp Darapanan, Secretary Deles cited the clear directives from President Aquino to all departments and agencies to contribute to ongoing efforts to fast-track peace and development in Mindanao.

In what was probably the most emotional and inspiring moment of peace advances in southern Philippines, thousands of Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) members with their families and other Moro leaders repeatedly chanted in unison their “takbirs” of “Allahu Akbar!” (God is the Greatest),  as Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process Teresita Quintos Deles defined government’s efforts in its relentless quest for lasting peace in the south.

“Patuloy ang pagsisikap ng ating Pangulo para itulak ang pag-uusap sa lamesa ('Our President is continuously persistent in moving the peace talks forward'),” she stated.

The peace adviser mentioned how the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the Philippine National Police have been carrying out their functions in support of the peace process. She also said that the GPH Panel has been diligently consulting all government agencies and departments on the agenda of power and wealth-sharing, and governance which are being discussed with the MILF on the peace table.

“The Panel does not bring empty or false promises to Kuala Lumpur.  Following the President’s instructions, the Panel ensures that the appropriate departments and agencies have been properly consulted and have come on board. The Panel goes to KL for every meeting with a fresh mandate from the President,” she stated.

Further, she emphasized that regular consultations are being done with Congress and Senate. “I tell you the feedback has been positive from the leadership of both Houses of Congress,” she said adding that dialogues with retired Supreme Court justices and members of the 1987 Constitutional Commission are set to be conducted.
Consultations with local government units and civil society organizations, as well as business sector and the academe are also continuing in line with P-Noy's directive for transparency in the negotiations.

Deles stressed President Aquino’s tuwid na daan (straight path) principle, which is also upheld by the Islamic principle alsirat al mustaquim and his hands-on leadership in securing permanent peace in Mindanao within his term. “Sa tuwid na daan, ang salita ay sagrado.  Sa ilalim ni P-Noy, siya mismo ang diretsong namumuno, gamit ang buong kakayanan at resources ng gobyerno, pati na ang kaniyang sarili, para sa paghanap ng kapayapaan para sa buong bansa.”

She recalled the President’s move to personally meet Murad in August 2011 in Japan where they agreed to fast track the peace negotiations and the stand he made against the outcry for an all-out-war in October of last year, which he silenced with his call for “all-out-justice."

“P-Noy has been tried and tested in the search for peace.  Nasubok na po si P-Noy at siya ay tapat na nanindigan.  He has passed the test,” she said.

Deles graced the kick-off of the Moro assembly which ended yesterday with other key government officials, chief negotiator Marvic Leonen; peace panel members Miriam Ferrer, Yasmin Busran-Lao, Senen Bacani and Hamid Barra, 6th Infantry Division’s Major Gen. Rey Ardo, Government of the Philippines (GPH) ceasefire chief BGen. Gilberto Jose Roa, senior military adviser BGen. Leo Cresente Ferrer and senior police adviser SSupt. Noel Delos Reyes.

Also in attendance were Organization of Islamic Conference (OIC) representative Tahir Akmad Saif, Malaysian facilitator Tengku Dato’ Ghafar Tengku bin Mohamed, members of the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF), foreign dignitaries and local government executives and representatives.

Joint security efforts for a historic and peaceful assembly

The peace adviser's compelling message reinforced the MILF Chair Murad Ebrahim's declaration that he "sees a flickering light at the end of the long tunnel," referring to a possible breakthrough in the GPH-MILF peace process.

“Kami ay narito dala ang pagkilala at pagpupugay ng national government sa inyong tuwirang pagsisikap na buuin at patingkarin ang suporta at pakikilahok ng Bangsamoro para sa nangyayaring usaping pangkapayapaan sa pagitan ng gobyerno at MILF,” Deles said. ("Our presence here signifies the national government's recognition of your sincere efforts to gather support from and ensure the participation of the Bangsamoro for the ongoing peace talks.")

“Saludo po kami sa inyong (We salute your) show of unarmed force in support of the peace process,” she added conveying the national government’s recognition and appreciation to the MILF leadership’s initiative to hold the public assembly.

Deles also took note of the successful collaboration of government security forces and the MILF in ensuring the safety and security of the participants to the four-day Bangsamoro Leaders’ Assembly.

New leadership spells the difference

She related that it was not her first time to be in Camp Darapanan. She attended the Bangsamoro People’s Consultative Assembly here back in 2005 barely a month and a week before she resigned as Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process during the Arroyo administration.

"In 2005, together with Secretary Silvestre “Yongyong” Afable, I brought the message of hope, solidarity, and persistence in pursuit of peace," she recalled, adding that she brings the same, but at the same time, different message. "The difference is the change of leadership under P.Noy.  Ngayon dala ko ang mensahe na sinsero si P.Noy, seryoso si P.Noy, sa kaniyang paghangad at pagsisikap para sa kapayapaan at kaunlaran dito sa Mindanao."
The peace adviser told of reliving the heights of energy, hope and commitment for peace that she experienced. “Now I have returned, filled with joy and hope once more as I sense how strong your drive is to attain peace.” she said.

The peace adviser concluded with an expression of new hope and commitment from the government.

"I have dared to return to government and I face you again today with new hope and commitment because under our current President, under P.Noy – sa daang matuwid – al sirat al mustaquim – we can dare to hope again.  With you we say – the time for peace is now."

Goal is for signing of peace pact this year

Chief government negotiator Dean Marvic Leonen conveyed the same sincerity and commitment from the government. He also underlined the urgency that a peace pact with the MILF should be signed soon.

“Our final agreement should be simple but meaningful and it should be signed within this year so that there is an opportunity to implement and assess and learn some more,” Leonen explained that by signing it this year both parties will have ample time to adjust the agreements.

“We know that our national government, who we represent at the negotiating table is poised and ready to invest technically, politically, and financially to achieve all these,” he added.

Leonen also pointed out the importance of building trust in the negotiations. “As the President reminded me time and again: It is not the complexity of the agreement that will ensure its implementation or the achievement of its aims—it is the trust that is built in the process of negotiation and in the process of assessing its implementation. At the end of the day, we build on each other’s sincerity and we do this while we are implementing programs and projects than just simply talking for that perfect peace agreement at the negotiating table,” he said.

“We negotiate for more than peace. We negotiate that we can live in a society that not only aspires for justice but also painstakingly tries to achieve it,” he stressed.
Leonen also lauded the MILF peace panel for being able, patient and wise in the peace negotiations. “To negotiate with your panel and your leaders is indeed a lifetime honor that we will cherish,” he told the participants.

OPPAP Website