Saturday, 19 May 2012 12:13
Local chief executives of this chartered city on Thursday shared their insights on the contents of the Decision Points on Principles that was signed by the Government of the Philippines (GPH) and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) during the 27th formal exploratory talks in Kuala Lumpur in April.
Led by Mayor Celso Lobregat, the local officials asked questions and discussed their thoughts with Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process Teresita Quintos Deles and GPH panel chair Dean Marvic Leonen in the consultation held at the City Hall. Also present were Congresswoman Beng Climaco, Vice Mayor Cesar S. Iturralde, and city councilors of two districts.
Deles relayed that she and GPH peace panel are “happy to come to the city and be able to explain the contents” of the decision points. She also said that the GPH peace panel “fully recognizes the commitment” to promote transparency and inclusivity through the conduct of consultations with different stakeholders.
The panel has been consulting key sectors on the Decision Points on Principles, which is considered a milestone in the 15-year negotiations.
Written in broad strokes, it contains 10 common standpoints that were mutually identified by both parties to serve as a framework for the final peace agreement. Mentioned in the list are the creation of the new autonomous political entity to replace the current Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, continuity of peace negotiations, promotion of basic rights, strengthening of Shari'ah courts, and power and wealth sharing between the national government and the new entity, among others.
Lobregat conveyed his appreciation to Deles and Leonen for returning to update them on the progress of the GPH-MILF peace negotiations.
Climaco, on the other hand, explained that the GPH panel has likewise been “regularly updating” the concerned committees of the Congress on the peace process.
On this, Leonen underscored that “as much as possible, the GPH peace panel reaches out” to various stakeholders of the peace process (both on the national and local levels) to gain inputs, learn, and attend to concerns and sentiments on the ongoing negotiations. He pointed out that more than 70 consultations were conducted by the current panel since they were reconstituted under the Aquino administration.
Deles said that the government’s goal is to bring a political settlement of the armed conflict in the south, that when the term of the Aquino administration ends, “there is no more protracted armed conflict or protracted implementation of a peace agreement.”
She added that the peace negotiations with the MILF are guided by the flexibilities of the Constitution; the lessons learned and experience of the past administrations; the ability of the government to deliver viable political, economic, and social commitments in a peace agreement; and the principles of transparency and inclusivity.
Earlier that day, Deles, Leonen and peace panel members Miriam Coronel Ferrer, Senen Bacani, Hamid Barra and Yasmin Busran Lao consulted the members of the Senate Committee on Peace, Unification and Reconciliation.
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