By Tracy Cabrera
MANILA — With the uplifting of lives of Muslim brothers and sisters and ending the decades-long conflict in Mindanao, peace and development are also steadily being pushed through genuine empathy and support from the national government under the Duterte administration.
This was the overall assessment of presidential peace adviser secretary Carlito Galvez Jr. at the seventh anniversary of the signing of the comprehensive agreement on the Bangsamoro (CAB) attended by high-ranking officials from the government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) led by its chairman Bangsamoro Autonomous Region for Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) chief minister Al Haj Murad Ebrahim.
At the beginning of his message, Galvez highlighted how history has shown that the only way people can live together in peaceful co-existence is for them to create opportunities for collaboration, work hand in hand, and allow everyone to contribute towards achieving a common vision.
“This is the same mindset that enabled the Government of the Philippines (GPH) and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) to finally put an end to decades of armed conflict and start a new chapter in the history of the Bangsamoro,” he pointed out.
“(Opposing) parties,” he added, “realized that despite contrasting views and approaches, they shared a common goal, and that is, to uplift the lives of the Moro people and bring long-lasting peace and sustainable development in the region.”
“This shared aspiration led to the signing seven years ago of the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro (CAB), which embodies the dreams, hopes, and aspirations of our Moro brothers and sisters,” the presidential adviser noted.
Taking special consideration of the attendees in the anniversary commemoration, Galvez expressed elation on gazing at “former adversaries who stood on opposite sides of the battlefield now sit(ting) side by side (while) discuss(ing) programs and projects that will create livelihood opportunities and uplift the lives of the Bangsamoro people.
“With the continued implementation of the political and normalization tracks of the CAB, the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) has now become a show window of peace, progress, and multicultural diversity,” he said.
In ending, the Palace official enjoined everyone to recall and apply the lessons learned over the years as initiatives are made to push forward the Bangsamoro peace process and the Duterte administration reaffirms its steadfast commitment to fulfill the promises it has made under all the peace agreements.
“(I am very much happy to see that) former MILF combatants have not only become peaceful and productive members of society but have also assumed leadership roles and are now playing an active part in charting the socio-economic course of the region.
“To the members of the MILF, led by its chairman, thank you for leading by example and showing that good things come to those who walk the path of peace.”
“And to our local and international peace partners, we look forward to continuing to work with you as we build a better, brighter, and more progressive future for the people of the Bangsamoro,” Galvez concluded. (AI/MTVN)