COTABATO CITY: In his quest for long-lasting and just peace in Mindanao, Orlando Cardinal Quevedo will attend the signing of the Comprehensive Agreement on Bangsamoro (CAB) in Malacañang today to ensure that peace negotiators would consider his concerns.
“The context today is a new context, a new situation. Together with Regional Gov. Mujiv Hataman, I shall be attending the signing of the CAB in Malacañang,” said Quevedo, whose quest for peace began in 1964.
Quevedo, who was recently appointed by the Vatican as the fifth Filipino cardinal, said “My role there is to simply witness and to express hope of the future that our Central Mindanao area will finally enjoy lasting and just peace.”
Quevedo has already brought his concerns to peace negotiators to ensure that the rights and protection of indigenous people and the self-determination of Bang–samoro are honored.
Even if lawmakers believe that self-determination is not a subject in the Bangsamoro struggle anymore, Quevedo said he is thankful that the view of one of the senators “did not prevail in the discussions of the MILF [Moro Islamic Liberation Front] and the government panels.”
The CAB signing between the government and the MILF is scheduled today in Mala–cañang Palace and will be attended by Moro and national leaders as well as internatio- nal dignitaries.
Meanwhile, local residents covered by the new political entity expressed enthusiasm in the peace deal.
Welcome messages from local residents in the form of green flags and banners (the MILF’s color) in public and private buildings have increased.
Army checkpoints along the national highway of North Cotabato and Maguindanao also displayed banners for the success of the peace treaty between the MILF and the government.