Palace says signing of annex on normalization on Bangsamoro manifests government commitment to lasting peace in Mindanao

MANILA, Jan. 27 (PNA) — The signing of the Annex on Normalization and Addendum on Bangsamoro Waters by the Government of the Philippines (GPH) and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) panels manifests the unshakeable commitment of the Aquino government to achieve a genuine and lasting peace in Mindanao, a Palace official said.

Presidential Spokesperson Edwin Lacierda issued the statement during the regular press briefing in Malacanang on Monday following the signing of the Annex on Normalization, the last of the four Annexes to the GPH-MILF Framework Agreement on the Bangsamoro (FAB) last Saturday.

“This was the culmination of a process that Secretary Teresita Deles described as one characterized by “painstaking deliberation,” and “discussion and internal consensus-building.”

Deles said this process was “grounded on extensive consultations with concerned local government units, religious and civil society leaders, and communities especially in the conflict-affected areas,” Lacierda said.

“The news was met with an outpouring of good wishes for the Philippines. Advocates of peace here at home and abroad greeted this news with optimism.” the Presidential spokesperson said.

He said the United States, United Kingdom, Japan, Switzerland, and international bodies such as the European Union and the United Nations, praised the Philippines for this achievement.

“This milestone gives the entire nation confidence that the next steps in the peace process are on track. The work does not end here. In particular, we look forward to the signing of the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro.

The Bangsamoro Transition Commission is also working on the Bangsamoro Basic Law, which our legislators will enact, moving forward,” Lacierda said.

The Framework on the Bangsamoro, signed on October 15, 2012, serves as a roadmap for the creation of a Bangsamoro entity that will replace the current Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao and lays down the groundwork to achieve lasting and genuine peace in Mindanao.

“We believe that this achievement signals the unshakeable commitment of the Philippines to all stakeholders in the country, as well as people of good will in the world: that this process will come to fruition, and that lasting peace and development in Muslim Mindanao are at hand,” he said. (PNA)