Friday, November 30, 2012

Statement of Hope of Sec. Teresita Quintos Deles during the MILF-MNLF Special Session at the 4th World Peace Forum

From the Website of OPPAP

Statement of Hope of Sec. Teresita Quintos Deles during the MILF-MNLF Special Session at the 4th World Peace Forum

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Posted on Thursday, 29 November, 2012 - 18:34
Sat, 11/24/2012

First of all, thank-you for allowing me to participate at the Opening Session of this important meeting.  I am here with other representatives of Government: our Ambassador to Indonesia, Amb. Ma. Rosario Aguinaldo; Undersecretary Yasmin Busran-Lao, Presidential Assistant on Muslim Concerns and a member of our GPH Peace Negotiating Panel for Talks with the MILF; and OPAPP Undersecretary Joe Lorena, a member of our Technical Working Group on Power-Sharing and who has been serving as a consultant for our peace table with the MNLF.

I am truly grateful to the Central Board of Muhammadiyah, led by Prof. Din Syamsuddin, for organizing this special session that will allow the MILF and the MNLF to have a dialogue in pursuit of peace. We know, and our friends know, that we have a need to address difficult and sensitive issues affecting Bangsamoro unity.

From the beginning, it has been in the intention of the Philippine Government, under the leadership of President Benigno S. Aquino III, to bring the MILF and the MNLF peace tracks to converge, knowing fully well that it is not possible to talk about separate futures for both.  You share the same beginnings, the same territory, the same faith, the same culture. While it is not possible to think of a unity in organizational terms, it is very possible to envision a shared future of peace.  It need not be in the form of a singular platform, but based on a commitment to democratic exchange of ideas and to competitive, free, and fair election in a representative political system such as what is envisioned in the ministerial form of government of the Bangsamoro.

We may not agree completely on what has happened in the past but we do agree on what we need to do: institute the needed legislative reform for a truly autonomous government. The issues are not intractable; what is more difficult is getting everybody on the same boat.  On this, only you can make this happen, not the government. 

Government can only support the process and we pledge to do so in every way necessary and possible.

The future of the Bagsamoro rests on your vision, statesmanship, brotherhood and sisterhood.  The concerns are similar—bigger shares in revenue, potential for a geographic scope for the autonomous government, an enhanced shari’ah justice system, block grants and subsidies to jumpstart economic development that is essential to sustain the peace, among others.

In behalf of the Philippine Government, I make this appeal and prayer for the gifts of discernment, generosity, tolerance, and understanding.  With the help of our friends, all of us will hopefully have the power to rise above our differences, become open to dialogue and cooperation, become willing to cross political lines, in the name of peace.  The public has spoken: “Peace, not war; unity, not division; sama-sama, hindi kanya-kanya; tuwid na daan – al sirat al mustquim,” in the words of the Koran.

I believe, as I have often said, that on the peace tables are miracles waiting to happen. Today, in the dialogue that is about to happen, I have faith, too, in the miracle that is about to unfold - Insha Allah.

A blessed and peaceful afternoon to all.

Shukran.  Terima kasi.



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