Jaafar to govt: Let’s choose peace, not war

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The Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) appealed to the government to continue the peace process because returning to war is “counterproductive.”

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MILF Vice Chairperson Ghadzali Jaafar said the problem in Mindanao can only be resolved through the peace process and not through an all-out war.

“If the peace process is abandoned, we will fail in finding a peaceful solution to the conflict in Mindanao,” Jaafar said when interviewed at the MILF camp in Darapanan in Sultan Kudarat, Maguindanao.

He noted that if calls for war prevail, the suffering of the people in Mindanao will continue.

Since the 1970s, at least 120,000 people, many of them civilians, were killed because of the Mindanao conflict. Over two million people were displaced.

“The MILF believes that the best way to resolve the problem of the Bagsamoro is through the peace process because this is the most civilized way to do it,” Jaafar stressed.

Gov. Mujiv Hataman of the Autonomous Region in Mindanao (ARMM) also urged the government and the MILF not to abandon the peace process.

“Let us not give up. Let us continue working for an enduring peace in Mindanao, let us continue the peace process,” he said.

The governor said the Mamasapano incident that killed 44 police commandos should not discourage lawmakers from supporting the passage of the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) and the eventual establishment of a Bangsamoro government.

The peace process, he said, provides the most viable option to end decades of conflict, displacement and underdevelopment in parts of Mindanao.

“Let us not allow the incident to undermine the years of rigorous peace negotiations that both government and MILF worked hard on,” Hataman said.

Jaafar, on the other hand, appealed for support from political leaders, church leaders, civil-society organizations and the public to support the call of the MILF to pursue a peaceful resolution to the Mindanao problem.

The Third-Party Monitoring Team (TPMT), the body that monitors the progress of the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro also called for the continuance of the peace process.

“The recent tragic events at Mamasapano have underlined yet again the human costs of conflict” TPMT Chairperson Alistair MacDonald said during a press briefing held for the release of their second annual Public Report on February 13.

“Pending the results of the various investigations [of the Mamasapano incident], it would be premature to comment substantively on these events. But it will be essential to protect the future while providing just remedies for the past—and that future can only prosper in the context of a widespread and lasting peace,” he added.

According to MacDonald, while public attention is focused on the tragedy, the substantial progress made in the peace process for 2014 should not be overlooked.

Established in 2013, the TPMT monitors the implementation of the peace agreement between the MILF and the government. Joining MacDonald, a former European Union ambassador to the Philippines, in the TPMT are Husseyin Oruc of Human Rights and Freedoms Humanitarian Relief Foundation (IHH)‎; Karen Tanada, executive director of the Gaston Z. Ortigas Peace Institute (GZOPI); Rahib Kudto of UNYPAD Philippines; and Steven Rood,‎ country representative of The Asia Foundation.

He said that while it is necessary for both parties to restore trust in the peace process, he remains confident that the government and MILF will be able to find lasting solutions to the armed conflict.

“Ending decades of violent conflict cannot be accomplished overnight. The best guarantees of success are the continuing commitment to peace of both parties, at the highest level, the massive engagement of Congress and the public in deliberating on the BBL, and the underlying hopes of the people of Mindanao that their children should be able to grow and prosper in a peaceful and just society,” he added.

with PNA

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6 Comments

  1. Here we go again, can you believe this?
    hey Mr. Terrorist, we wont mind if you killed the corrupt Senators, Congressman, Governors, Mayors in the DAP scandal, or cops involved in kidnappings, holdups, drugs and rapes(even commend you for that), but what you massacred are young, honest and brave officers who are just doing their job arresting your neighbor who killed innocent people INCLUDING MUSLIMS! Sure you can see us proclaiming peace also but be forewarned of the clenched fist and gun on the other, YOU JUST CREATED YOUR OWN RIDO Mr. Jafaar. Its not over Mr. Terrorist……

  2. Jaafar said to resolve the bangsamoro problem the civilize way,the problem Jaafar is that their is no civilize person to talk with in your MILF.

  3. Its hard to continue this process when leaders lie and they are not man enough to accept their faults. This mess in Mindanao which has been going on for many decades cannot be blamed to one group. There’s so many entities who contributed to this problem. The government neglected the economic development of Mindanao, some corrupt ARMM leaders, atrocities of both the AFP and Muslim rebels, the Ilaga massacres and the Baracuda armed group,….. right now, the government made wrong decisions and MILF didn’t police their rank for international terrorist.

    For any peace to succeed, each party who contributed to this problem in Mindanao should at least acknowledged each mistakes and fault not just at the present time but acknowledged the fault of previous leaders in the past.

    One time, I attended an Advanced Leadership Training in Hawaii and our lecturer was a Japanese professor. Before he started his lecture, he humbly vowed and asked forgiveness for the atrocities made by the Japanese Army to our country during World War II. He was not yet born at that time but he acknowledged his nation’s sin to the Philippines and offered a sincere apology.

    He gained my respect and attention to what he shared in his lecture.

  4. too late now. peace with the MILF terrorists now is an insult to the brave SAF commandos Killed in Action (KIA). to honor the heroes mean to capture dead or alive these terrorists.

  5. sonny dela cruz on

    I always hearing the Moros saying the word WAR. Jaffar is saying that let’s choose peace, not WAR. Yes, you are at peace for killing our 44 SAF who entered your territory. Now, they are gone and you are at peace. What do you mean our territory? It is in the Philippines where the good and peace loving filipinos live. If you want a place for the Moros, why don’t you ask Saudi Arabia, Egypt and other Muslim countries for the Moros re-location, why insist on staying in the Philippines where you don’t even respect the Philippine constitution and laws. Sickening.