Friday, January 1, 2016

“Best thing about peace process, two parties have not gone back to war”: Ferrer

From the Website of MILF

“Best thing about peace process, two parties have not gone back to war”: Ferrer

“Best thing about peace process, two parties have not gone back to war”: Ferrer

Describing 2015 as productive but difficult year for the Bangsamoro peace process, GPH Peace panel Chair Prof. Miriam Coronel-Ferrer said in a statement posted at OPAPP Website on December 31 that, “The best thing about the peace process is that the two parties have not gone to war.  

The full text of Prof. Ferrer’s statement runs as follows:

“Truly, this is the best thing about the peace process between the Government of the Philippines (GPH) and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF). The two parties have not gone back to war. We remain steadfast in upholding the ceasefire and are isolating those groups that continue to foment violence. We are gradually transforming the lives of the people on the ground, nurturing their hopes and dreams for a better future.  And we are so close to putting firmly in place the needed institutional reforms to realize meaningful autonomy and democracy in the Bangsamoro”.

However, while the second year of implementing the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro (CAB) saw important breakthroughs in our Bangsamoro road map to peace, it is evident that it also brought us unprecedented difficulties.
Many will look back at the year 2015 and see the Mamasapano tragedy of January 25 as the monkey wrench that was thrown into the clockwork and set back most of what we have set out to do.

They are right in one sense.  Congressional committee deliberations on the draft Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) gave way to about three months of televised hearings on the Mamasapano tragedy. Subsequently, hearings on the draft law were colored by the incident, leading to misrepresentations on both the content of the pending bills and on the consultative processes that had been undertaken by the peace panels and the Bangsamoro Transition Commission (BTC).  

It cannot be denied that many of those running for high offices in the 2016 election were catapulted to the public limelight in these acrimonious congressional hearings. Such has been Mamasapano and its aftermath’s jolting effect on the public’s sensibilities and the political dynamics it generated, in light of the upcoming national elections.

But to say that we have lost the CAB and the BBL because of Mamasapano would not be quite right.

We have not let Mamasapano define the process nor its outcome. Not that we are wishing away the incident, which saw many Filipino lives lost. In fact we believe that only when all facts are fully unearthed, with those directly responsible for the debacle owning up to their mistakes, the incident put in its bigger context, and the judicial process taking its course to extract individual accountabilities from all directly involved without exception, will we find the public understanding better as to why we have persistently, even stubbornly, pursued the CAB and the BBL for the whole nation’s better interest.