Friday, August 9, 2013

GPH peace panel consults students, educators on MILF peace process

GPH peace panel consults students, educators on MILF peace process

Posted on Friday, Aug 9th, 2013
Iligan City – The Government of the Philippines (GPH) negotiating panel recently consulted students and educators in Marawi and this city in its continuing efforts to promote better understanding of the government’s peace process with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), particularly on the Framework Agreement on the Bangsamoro (FAB) and its annexes.
GPH panel chair Miriam Coronel-Ferrer and panel members Yasmin Busran-Lao and Senen Bacani provided participants, who were mostly students, faculty members, and non-government organization representatives, with updates on the GPH-MILF peace process during the consultations held at the Mindanao State University (MSU) in Marawi and the Mindanao State University – Iligan Institute of Technology (MSU-IIT) in Iligan.
“This is peace for everyone, therefore everyone should be informed every step of the way, piece by piece, block by block as we build the infrastructure for that kind of peaceful transformation of our society,” Coronel-Ferrer said.
The panel members presented the road map of the peace process with the MILF and explained the details of the Annex on Transitional Arrangements and Modalities and the Annex on Revenue Generation and Wealth Sharing, signed last February and July, respectively. There are two remaining annexes left to be signed by the panels. These are Annexes on Normalization and Power Sharing.
“It is in this process that we hope everybody will be with us every step of the way,” said the panel chair.
The panel also expressed the government’s commitment for transparent and consultative process, and urged the public to participate in more consultations especially those that will be conducted by the Bangsamoro Transition Commission who will draft the Bangsamoro Basic Law to pave the way for the establishment of the envisioned Bangsamoro entity.
“Inclusivity has always been a part of our guidelines. As I said, even though we are talking only with one party, the Government has taken on a total approach to be able to reach to all the different stakeholders,” Coronel-Ferrer added.
Dr. David Almayre, Vice Chancellor of MSU-IIT, describe the consultations as “opportunity for the panel to hear what we are saying and for us to know what they are doing.”
He also encouraged everyone to take part in the peace process adding that the public should understand the problems confronting the Bangsamoro people.
“The problem of the MILF is a common problem to all of us and if we listen to it, then we listen to everybody. The person we call our enemy is a person whose story we have not heard,” said Almayre.
He further appealed to “leave no one a loser for we can all be winners for only then shall we redeem the Mindanao process and the fulfillment of our dream – mapayapang (peaceful) Mindanao.”
The GPH panel assured that more consultations will be held as the process continues to move forward, giving importance to what the stakeholders has to say on the issues discussed on the negotiating table.
Forum on wealth-sharing annex
In Cotabato City, the Notre Dame University (NDU) recently held a forum on the Annex on Revenue Generation and Wealth Sharing to ensure that their students get first-hand information on matters pertaining to developments in the GPH-MILF peace process.
Coronel-Ferrer and Bangsamoro Transition Commission member Pedrito Eisma were the resource speakers in the event attended by more than 2,000 students.
NDU President Fr. Eduardo Tanudtanud, OMI said that the forum is “important for the students to understand fully the Framework Agreement on the Bangsamoro and the signed Annexes.”
“Isang move ito ng university to help disseminate the information para at least we and the students can support the FAB and the annexes kasi kung hindi naman nila naiintindihan, hindi rin nila susuportahan, (This is one of the university’s moves to help disseminate the information so that at least we and the students can support the FAB and the Annexes because if they do not understand it then they could not support it,” Tanudtanud added.
The university has also strengthened its support to the peace initiatives in the region by including the FAB and its annexes to the topics discussed in the peace education subjects that it offers to all college students regardless of their chosen field of discipline.
“Mas naging klaro siya ngayon. May questions kasi dati na parang unclear sa amin and then ngayon at least mas naliwanagan na kami kung para saan talaga yung Framework Agreement (It has become clearer to us now. There were questions before that were unclear but at least
now we understand what the Framework Agreement is really for,)” said Marvi Joy Aninon, a Mass Communication student who attended the forum.
Aninon appealed to both parties to “dwell on building peace and just meet half way to achieve their goals” since the gains of this peace process will not only be for a few people but for the Bangsamoro and the people of Mindanao. #

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