Saturday, May 17, 2014

President Aquino praises Bangsamoro deal in ASEAN Summit in Myanmar

From the Website of MILF

President Aquino praises Bangsamoro deal in ASEAN Summit in Myanmar

  • Friday, May 16 2014
  • Written by  Desk Editor
Philippine President Benigno Aquino who recently attended the ASEAN Summit in Myanmar told to the leaders of Association of Southeast Asia Nations (ASEAN) about the success story of the Government of the Philippines (GPH) and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) Peace Process that led to the signing last March 27, 2014 of the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro (CAB).

Some members of the bloc are also facing problems on separatists groups.

President Aquino said, “That the recent signing motivates the Philippines to share insights on peace, conflict resolution, and reconciliation with ASEAN neighbors and hoped that the CAB will serve as a model to them.

On May 11, President Aquino was also quoted by reporters as saying, "The Philippines hopes that the CAB adds to the body of experience that can inform conflict-resolution practices in ASEAN moving forward. Peace in any part of the world redounds to the benefit of all. As peace in the Bangsamoro lays the foundations of stability, inclusivity, and progress in Mindanao, more doors of opportunity are opened --- for the people of Mindanao, for the entire Philippines, and for partners and friends who wish to contribute to development".

He also noted that the success of the peace process thus far contributes to ASEAN’s growing experience and best practices in the promotion of a culture of peace and respect for diversity.

"Included in our work to establish a strong, stable, and peaceful ASEAN Community is the task of building on the values and best practices of our institutions in addressing intra, inter and regional conflicts. Peace is a fundamental concern of all nations; sharing best practices then allows us to address problems and challenges more comprehensively," Aquino said.

The summit at Myanmar became an opportunity for President Aquino to express his profound gratitude to fellow ASEAN countries who played important roles in the completion of the peace process that took the two peace panels 17 years before it was signed.

In his statement, he specifically mentioned Malaysia and thanked the country which brokered the peace negotiation as well as Indonesia and Brunei for their roles as members of the International Monitoring Team. Aquino stressed the hardships of civilians in times of conflict and even recounted the experience of MILF Chieftain Murad Ebrahim and his family.

"The signing of the Framework Agreement on the Bangsamoro was the first such occasion that Chairman Murad’s wife had ever visited our capital, Manila. Both of them had witnessed many years of conflict—years during which Chairman Murad and his companions had to isolate their loved ones in special communities to protect them from the ravages of conflict," he said.

"In these situations, whether for those engaged in conflict or others, the paramount human interest, has always been to keep families alive and healthy. For leaders like ourselves, the paramount interest is very similar: to minimize, or even prevent, loss of life and casualty, and to ensure that communities remain whole, and that development is sustained," he added as quoted by reporters.

Myanmar President U Thein Sein lauded the Philippines for the successful signing of the CAB saying that the peace deal was a great achievement.

He likewise congratulated Malaysia, Indonesia and Brunei, as well as the other ASEAN member states that contributed towards the CAB signing, adding the ASEAN nations extended full support for the Philippines' efforts to achieve lasting peace in Mindanao.

Myanmar is currently facing insurgences by guerrillas belonging to the Karen tribes. Unconfirmed reports said that Muslim Rohingyas which like the Karens are a minority in the country (Myanmar) are facing persecutions by the government and banned from saying or claiming that they are Muslims.

MILF Website

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