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.
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.
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 Malacañang.
“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 Malacañang 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, and the Tripoli Agreement in 2001, among others. (PNA)