Friday, November 7, 2014

Message of Secretary Teresita Quintos Deles at the Turnover and Launching of the Bangsamoro Development Plan


Message of Secretary Teresita Quintos Deles at the Turnover and Launching of the Bangsamoro Development Plan

Message of Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process Teresita Quintos Deles
Turnover and Launching of the Bangsamoro Development Plan
Camp Darapanan, Sultan Kudarat, Maguindanao
02 November 2014
Magandang umaga po.
Assalamu alaikum.
A peaceful day to all of us.
My thanks to our hosts for the invitation to be with you and all our peace partners this beautiful Sunday morning as we mark another milestone in the peace process, with the formal turnover to the MILF Central Committee of the Bangsamoro Development Plan, marking its official adoption and  launch by the MILF leadership.
My congratulations to the leadership and members of the MILF for this occasion that unveils a key component in bringing peace and progress in the Bangsamoro.  And I congratulate the members of the Bangsamoro Development Authority and its partners for completing this valuable tool for development.
A new dawn has come.  And with the coming of light is the rise of the Bangsamoro.
Indeed, we have come so far from decades of conflict, grief, and loss.  Peace that has been elusive is now within our grasp. The milestones after milestones we have achieved over challenges and difficulties we have faced these past few years under the administration of President Benigno S. Aquino III are a testament to the strength of commitment and desire of the Government and the MILF, with the help of our partners, to bring just and lasting peace to the Bangsamoro.
The Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro that we have forged has laid the roadmap for achieving our goal of establishing the Bangsamoro. We look into the future and see genuine autonomy thriving in the midst of Mindanao.  We see the leadership of the MILF at the helm, the reins in your hands, steering the Bangsamoro towards progress. Insha Allah. With the Bangsamoro Development Plan, the way ahead is now bathed in light.
Enough times has it been said that we cannot have peace without development, and we cannot have development without peace. Both are necessary components in ensuring better lives for our people.  Peace and development have to be hand and in hand, perhaps in the same way that we, the national government, and you, the MILF, also have to closely work together to achieve what we hope to see in the Bangsamoro.
What makes this Bangsamoro Development Plan even more valuable is its attempt to present a clear vision of peace and development that was crafted by your own hands, and came from the hearts and minds of those who have struggled for so long to bring peace in the communities. This Bangsamoro Development Plan is important because it gathers the collective hopes and aspirations of the Bangsamoro people, government leaders, partners in the business and private sectors, and civil society organizations, into a concrete plan. It is a vision of the Bangsamoro, by the Bangsamoro, for the Bangsamoro.
We know it has not been easy getting to this good place in our long drawn peace process.  The way has been fraught by challenges and, yes, landmines, that sometimes seemed poised to shatter all that the parties have worked for. Certainly, there were times during the negotiations when we thought we would not be able to bridge the gaps that divided the two parties in concept, language and yes, passion.  In forging the BDP, the gap had to be crossed in terms of understanding concepts and appreciating the institutional imperatives for accountable governance and the delivery of government services where they are most needed. Certainly there were times when the way forward seemed as dim and uncertain as the past we are coming from.
And yet we – the parties with our partners – stayed the course.  We have kept hope with the promise.  The Aquino Administration has committed itself to the peace process with the MILF. This commitment did not end with the signing of the CAB.  It will persist until we have achieved its full implementation. We are committed to walk the path towards peaceful and genuine autonomy with you.   We stand ready to provide whatever help and guidance maybe needed to ensure the successful implementation of the BDP.  Secretary Abad and I are here to attest to this commitment behind which the entire government stands.
Our commitment remains firm as, together, we work together towards the passage and ratification of a Bangsamoro Basic Law that is faithful to the vision and aspirations of the CAB.
At present, the BBL is undergoing deliberations in both the Senate and the House of Representatives as Senate Bill 2408 and House Bill 4994, respectively. The Ad Hoc Committee in the House of Representatives headed by Cagayan de Oro Representative Rufus Rodriguez and the Committee on Local Government in the Senate headed by Senator Ferdinand Marcos, Jr., have been working overtime, even during the period of recess, to make sure that the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law will be enacted with enough time for an effective transition.  Consultations will continue until December, and we remain optimistic that the proposed bill will be enacted early next year.
Countless fora, discussions, and consultations outside these government and Congressional initiatives are also being held all around the country in an effort by the Filipino people to understand the Bangsamoro Basic Law and the principles and proposed practices for the genuine autonomy it seeks to establish.
The momentum for peace has gained ground and it cannot be stopped.  This shows how much our people have come to understand that peace and development are responsibilities we all share as Filipinos. This shows the dream we all share: to finally see peace in our time.
Next Wednesday and Thursday in Davao City, the BDP will be presented to the public through the Philippine Development Forum (PDF) co-chaired by government and MILF with President Aquino himself as keynote speaker.  With the conduct of the PDF, government joins hands with the MILF in inviting the partnership of the international community, the private sector, and civil society, and, indeed, the entire Filipino people in ensuring that this plan will work and become reality on the ground, where the communities live, where people make their living or suffer from the lack of it, where children await the clearer, brighter future they deserve.
As we advance further on our journey to genuine peace in Mindanao, we know we will be facing even more challenges. But we take comfort and courage In knowing that the peace process continues to prosper because of the many individuals who care enough to safeguard this journey to lasting peace. This includes all of us here.
As we have always said, it will take real and much effort, but, just as we all share the responsibility of working for peace and development, so will we all share in the prosperity it will bring.  Just as we have all waited and worked together in the darkness of strife and conflict, so do we all stand now on a foundation built by trust, with the greatest care, hand in hand, as we welcome the new dawn of peace and prosperity – and it has never been better, it has never been brighter, it has never been more beautiful.
Maraming salamat po.  Shukran.

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