Drilon hails forthcoming signing of peace accord with Bangsamoro as ‘remarkable triumph’

By Jelly F. Musico

MANILA, March 23 (PNA) — Senate President Franklin Drilon on Sunday hailed the forthcoming signing of the comprehensive agreement on the Bangsamoro as a “remarkable triumph of the Filipino towards unity and progress.”

The Senate leader also said the government will ensure that the historic accord can effectively realize the promise of long-sought peace and development for Mindanao.

Drilon expressed elation over the scheduled signing of the comprehensive agreement on the Bangsamoro made between the Philippine government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) on March 27, ending nearly four decades of intense insurgency by one of the country’s biggest secessionist movements.

“The signing of the Bangsamoro agreement is not only for our country, it is also a testament to our Asian neighbors and to the whole world that though shaped by our diversity, we are much more defined by our common dreams of peace, equality and prosperity as a nation,” Drilon said.

This is a moment of immense pride, relief and joy throughout the entire Philippines, where we have arrived at a new era of understanding, security and opportunities now available for every Filipino – be they Muslim, Christian or members of our indigenous groups,” he added.

Drilon said that the country can now better devote its efforts towards social, economic and political development, amid growing aspirations for regional strength and inter-state solidarity throughout the entire Southeast Asian region.

“The success we have made are not limited within our nation, as the Bangsamoro plays an ever- crucial role in ASEAN regional security. The Bangsamoro shall be a beacon of cooperation and tolerance among the major Muslim constituencies in Southeast Asia, where it will be an example of what can be achieved when we shun extremism and violence in its every form,” he explained.

Drilon said for the peace to last, the government must “build upon this spirit of reconciliation with policies that will ensure good governance, social equity and the thorough rule of law which the people of Mindanao have long sought for.”

He then said that Congress “looks forward to scrutinizing the proposed Bangsamoro law that will institute the necessary reforms called for in the Agreement,” and that the law will be given utmost priority in the Upper Chamber.

“The Senate is more than ready to work on the new Bangsamoro basic law – one that would be universally fair, practical and Constitutionally-consistent. The public can expect our commitment to the Bangsamoro not only for the sake of national progress, but also for the welfare and future of the entire Southeast Asian region,” Drilon pointed out. (PNA)