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Philippines: Bangsamoro peace pact a major contribution to country, world
an article by OPAPP, Office of the Presidential Advisor on the Peace Process

Nine years after the Indonesian government and the Free Aceh Movement signed a landmark peace deal which officially ended almost three decades of fighting in the Indonesian province of Aceh, the Philippines will follow with another peace deal that seeks to close one of the deadliest and longest-running armed conflicts in this part of Asia.

click on photo to enlarge

Following 17 years of hard negotiations, the Government of the Philippines (GPH) and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) will finally sign the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro (CAB) on Thursday, March 27.

GPH chief negotiator Miriam Coronel-Ferrer stressed that the CAB signing will benefit not only Filipinos.

“The sealing of the comprehensive agreement is important not only for the Bangsamoro, the people of Mindanao and all other Filipino citizens who have all to gain as one country pursuing its unfinished task of nation-building.”

“It is also our global contribution to the pursuit of peace in our immediate neighborhood, the Southeast Asian region, and the rest of the world,” the chief negotiator said during a press briefing on Tuesday in Malacañan.

“Many other countries continue to face similar troubles. Our experience, our mechanisms, our approaches have become a rich source of inspiration to these countries that remain challenged by their respective domestic conflicts,” she added.

On the same note, Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process Teresita Quintos Deles said that the CAB “is going to be a major contribution for the peace and development of the entire country.”

“Our call really is to let the Bangsamoro have their chance for peaceful lives where there can be sustainable development,” added the peace adviser.

The five-page document will be signed in Malacañan by the GPH and MILF panel members in the presence of more than 1,000 guests from various sectors of society.

Deles, along with President Benigno Simeon Aquino III, MILF chief Al Haj Murad Ebrahim, and Malaysia Prime Minister Dato Sri Mohd Najib Bin Tun Hj Abdul Razak will also witness the historic signing.

The CAB puts together all the agreements signed by both parties: the Framework Agreement on the Bangsamoro, the four Annexes and the Addendum, the Ceasefire Agreement of 1997, the Tripoli Agreement in 2001, among others.


Question(s) related to this article:

What is the latest update on the peace situation in Mindanao?,

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The agreement of October 15 2012 has given rise to optimism, but many problems remain.  For a typical analysis see that of The Economist.

The Philippines' Southern Insurgency

It could be peace

Hopes grow for an end to a bloody and long-running insurgency

AFTER 16 years of on-and-off negotiations, the Philippines government and the main Muslim rebel group in the southern region of Mindanao, the Moro Islamic Liberation Front, agreed to the outlines of a peace deal on October 6th. The two sides are due to sign it formally on October 15th. If it works, which is far from guaranteed, it could bring an end to more than four decades of fighting by armed Muslims seeking independence from the mainly Christian archipelago nation. The Mindanao conflict has killed perhaps 120,000 people and displaced 2m more. Mindanao is home to most of the country’s Muslims, who make up about 5% of the population of about 100m.

The agreement is not a final peace deal, but rather what President Benigno Aquino describes as “a framework agreement” and the front calls a “road map”. Yet both sides believe that it paves the way for what Mr Aquino hopes will prove “a final, enduring peace” in Mindanao.

The peace plan envisages the establishment of an autonomous Muslim area in Mindanao, called Bangsamoro, subject to a plebiscite there. The proposed Bangsamoro will have budgetary autonomy and a just share of revenues from the extraction of southern resources; its own police force; and sharia law for Muslims only. . ...more.

This report was posted on March 27, 2014.