Gov’t urges unity for success of comprehensive peace deal with MILF

MANILA, March 24 (PNA) -– Government of the Philippines (GPH) chief negotiator Miriam Coronel-Ferrer on Sunday called on all stakeholders to support the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro (CAB) that will be signed with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) on March 27 (Thursday) in Malacañang.

“Peace requires a lot of hard work. Peace requires unity in purpose and cooperation. Kailangan po natin ang tulong ng lahat (We need everyone’s help),” she said during an interview over DZXL.

“Ang layunin natin ay walang maiiwan sa process na ito. Tulungan po niyo kami. Napakarami nating dapat gawin para magtagumpay talaga ang peace process natin (Our goal is to ensure no one is left behind in this process. Help us. There is a lot of work to do to make the peace process successful),” she added.

The CAB is the final peace agreement between the GPH and MILF that will serve as basis for the drafting of the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL). The BBL, once passed by Congress and upheld in a plebiscite in the proposed core territory, will formalize the entrenchment of the Bangsamoro political entity that will enjoy an enhanced political and fiscal autonomy.

Coronel-Ferrer said that the success of the CAB will help realize the hopes of ordinary Mindanaoans to lead peaceful lives, enjoy equal opportunities, send their children to schools, have decent jobs, and keep away from criminal activities.

She also pointed out the importance of having strong and democratic governance institutions.

“This is the goal of the creation of the Bangsamoro political entity – replace the institution that does not live up to the expectations for a good and democratic government. We are putting all the elements in place. The institutional designs of this (Bangsamoro) government will be more representative and accountable,” Coronel-Ferrer said in Filipino.

The panel chair also stressed that lasting peace and development in Mindanao will also benefit the entire Philippines.

“We need the public to understand that if we are able to work this out and have peace and development in Mindanao, the whole country will benefit. A bomb that explodes in Mindanao affects the entire country. Economic activity is disrupted, business confidence is decreased, travel is restricted. One incident can easily affect the economy of the country.” (PNA)