Friday, February 27, 2015

PNoy hits those who do not want peace

From the Website of MILF

PNoy hits those who do not want peace

PNoy hits those who do not want peace

Steadfast in his commitment in pursuing peaceful resolution in Mindanao problem, President Benigno Aquino III hit those who oppose peace citing, “If we allow ourselves to be defeated by those who oppose peace, it would be tantamount to allowing the chaos in Mindanao to worsen.”

In his message on the 29th Anniversary of EDSA People Power Revolution on February 25, 2015, Aquino stressed “the conflict in Mindanao continues to bring conflict for all of us.” “This is why each one of us is obligated to pursue peace in Mindanao,” he pointed out.
After the Mamasapano encounter that claimed lives of 44 Special Action Force (SAF) and 18 Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) combatants, there has been a mounting call to stop the passage of the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) and wage an all-out-war against the MILF.
The president said, “We will not allow this to happen. It is only by realizing a just and lasting peace that we can say that the sacrifices of those who fought in EDSA—together with those who gave their lives to put an end to the sowing of fear and violence in society—were worth it.”

Aquino said further, “What happened in Mamasapano was truly painful. Let us not forget that our police went there, not to inflict violence, but to fulfill the law.” 

“They sacrificed so much so that we could attain peace; it would not be just if what they gave for peace became the spark that ignited further violence,” he pointed out.

“We are exerting every effort to maintain order. At the same time, we know that, as we move nearer and nearer to the fulfillment of our aspirations, those contrary to ou
r goals are becoming more desperate,” he added.
The president said, “It would be ideal if they were able to propose alternative solutions, instead of hurling criticism after criticism. Thus, we cannot help but think: They do not want peace, because they themselves benefit from chaos and violence.

“For those of us who experienced EDSA, we know the positive fruits of exercising sobriety and remaining calm—of allowing reason, faith, and love for one another to take precedence—instead of allowing ourselves to be carried away by anger and our emotions.”
“If back then God guided our nation towards peaceful change, I have faith that, in spite of these new challenges, our trust in each other will prevail,” Aquino, who has strong conviction that the BBL could bring resolve to the decades of conflict in Southern Philippines, said.

The Congress recently suspended the deliberation for the BBL to give way for the investigation on the Mamasapano debacle. Aquino has been prodding the lawmakers to pass the BBL. 

Peace advocate groups and the Bangsamoro people have been urging the Senate and House of Representatives to pass the BBL for the fulfillment of the Bangsamoro’s quest for self-determination.

The Philippine Government and the MILF peace panels have been engage in peace talks for the past 17 years to put an end to Mindanao conflict that has claimed thousands of lives in the past decades.

Aquino said, “All things considered, this pursuit of peace in the entire country, especially in ARMM, is far more planned, with more contributing to it. Perhaps if God helped us then, he will also help us today.”

“Perhaps what is asked of those of us who learned the lessons of EDSA is to work even harder in fostering the condition that will allow us to realize peace.”

“In the name of all the Filipinos who fought in EDSA, and of all our countrymen who have sacrificed, and continue to sacrifice for their fellowmen and our country, let us continue the fight towards the peace and prosperity to which we have long aspired” the president said.


Sulong Bangsamoro Movement holds rally at Cotabato City Tantawan Park, calls for BBL passage

Sulong Bangsamoro Movement holds rally at Cotabato City Tantawan Park, calls for BBL passage

On  Wednesday, February 25, the Sulong Bangsamoro Movement (SBM), a coalition of civil society organizations; internally-displaced persons (IDP’s) from Mamasapano, Maguindanao, and Pikit, North Cotabato; students from the Mindanao State University-Maguindanao, University of Southern Mindanao(USM) and Cotabato City  State Polytechnic College (CCSPC), and local folks staged a rally at the Tantawan Park, Cotabato City, simultaneous with the 29th Anniversary of the 1986 EDSA People Power Revolution urged lawmakers to continue the deliberations on the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) and pass it as soon as possible.

 “If the BBL is not passed by congress within the timeline set, it is tantamount to giving chance to peace spoilers to succeed in their hidden agenda and of promoting bloodshed all over Mindanao,” said Norodin Guiamaludin, a member of KASAMA. 

 “Perhaps this is what Senator Alan Peter Cayetano wanted to happen as shown by his actions; disrespect; interrupting invited personalities from the MILF and the GPH Peace Panels while they were answering his questions and clarifying their answers during the investigation on Mamasapano incident at the Senate””, said Guimaludin. “The Moro people are already tired of evacuating every time there is firefight between adversaries in Mindanao”, he continued.

“We become unproductive. Look at our children they can no longer go to school as we are forced to leave our homes and the communities where we live. Our children cannot live a decent life, eat nutritious food and drink clean water. We are afraid that they may end up engage in illegal activities”, Guiamaludin emotionally said.

“Are these the kind of life which Pete Cayetano, Celso Lobregrat, Josephp Estrada, Richard Gomez, etc. want for our children”? he asked.

The rallyists begged President Noynoy Aquino not to step down. “We ask the President to be firmed, not to entertain these demands from anti-administration groups that call for his resignation”, he further said. 

“We fear that once PNoy steps down at this point in time, all our hopes and dreams shall vanish. We believe that PNoy is very sincere, that he will do his best for the enactment of BBL.  It will be his legacy to us Moros. BBL is the only option for peace in Muslim Mindanao,” Mahdie Amella of the Mindanao Peoples Caucus stressed.

“Huwag nyang talikuran pangarap ng kanyang tatay at nanay  para sa Mindanao, na ma’achieve natin ang kapayapaan”,  Amella further said.

When asked what if a watered-down BBL is passed by Congress? Amella replied, “It will be useless because it will never address the decade-sold Bangsamoro Question.
War is not an option 

Reyhan Ali, a student of MSU-Maguindanao assured that she will join mass gathering to show her dismay over the misconduct of some lawmakers in the senate. “They are our leaders (referring to Senator Peter Cayetano, Senator Bongbong Marcos), and they should accord utmost respect to OPAPP Secretary Deles Prof. Ferrer of GPH Peace Panel and MILF Peace Panel Chairman Iqbal”.

“Senator Cayetano asking Secretary Deles and GPH Peace Panel Chief Ferrer to resign is a crystal clear proof that he does understand the peace process,” she said. 

 “All-out-war is not the solution to the problem here in Mindanao. Look, from the very beginning, we  have suffered enough from the effects of wars in our villages, that’s why we are against people that campaign for all-out-war,” Reyhan furthered said.

The groups that gathered at the foot of Tantawan Hill, armed with placards that contained, “Pass BBL, No to War”; “Yes to BBL, No to all-out-war”; “Create Peace”, “Pass BBL without changes”; “BBL huwag idamay sa Mamasapano incident”; “Ang Bangsamoro ay Tao rin, may Karapatan din”; “PNoy resignation not a solution to Mamasapano incident”; “PNoy, Tapusin mo ang commitment mo sa Bangsamoro”; “Stop discrimination against the Bangsamoro; “BBL our dream, Our future”.

Amir Abdullah, SBM Spokesperson called on people that support peace not to vote for Senator Alan Peter Cayetano in the 2016 national elections. 

The rallyists torched a photo of Senator Peter Cayetano and advised Ex-convict Mayor Joseph Estrada, Senator Bongbong Marcos, Senator JV Ejercito, Rep. Celso Lobregat, and Richard Gomez who they also claimed as ‘anti-BBL and peace spoilers’ to change their minds, support BBL and peace for Mindanao, otherwise they shall also feel the hatred of the Moro people and those that support efforts for achieving peace in the region.