ARMM Gov. Hataman: Peace deal feats span over 2 Aquino administrations

Governor Mujiv S. Hatman of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) lauded the signing today of the Framework Agreement between the Government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), saying the pact brings the negotiation close to achieving its final goal, a lasting peace for the coexisting peoples of Muslim Mindanao.

“We in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao welcome with utmost sense of support and cooperation, this current development that brings this decades-long negotiation close to achieving its final goal, a lasting peace for the coexisting peoples of Muslim Mindanao.”

Hataman credited both the first and the current Aquino administration for the breakthrough in the government’s peace dealing with the MILF.

The ARMM governor said, “on-and-off to some points of discord in more than two decades, President Benigno Simeon Aquino III broke gridlocks in the first face-to-face presidential talk with the MILF leadership in Tokyo, Japan on August 4, 2011.”

“Again, this presidential move effectively followed the straight path to waging peace, yet  a similarly crucial decision on the part of then President Corazon C. Aquino, when she

met MNLF Chairman Nur Misuari, right in the heartland of the Moro conflict in Maimbung Sulu on September 5, 1986,” Hataman said.

He also thanked those involved or had worked hand-in-hand into the long process,  whether directly or indirectly from day one.

Hataman said: “I congratulate both panels, respectively under Dean Marvic Leonen and Mohaguer Iqbal, even as we are being profoundly grateful to the First and Second Aquino Administrations, as well as to Presidential Peace Adviser Ging Deles, and all the leaders and individuals, who have, directly or indirectly, become part of this success— a final breakthrough in our collective endeavor in attaining peace in this part of the country.”

“It’s been a long way from the February 8, 1987 signing of an informal agreement for a cessation of hostilities in the tenure of the First Aquino Administration, represented by then Interior Secretary Aquilino Pimentel Jr., and the then Vice-Chairman, Al-Hadj Ibrahim Murad, signing for the Moro Islamic Liberation Front. Indeed, this led to the mutual declaration of suspension of military operation (SOMO) by the government and of the corresponding suspension of military action (SOMA) by the Moro Islamic Liberation Front on April 27, 2000,” Hataman added.

Hataman recalled that the informal Ceasefire Declaration of February 8 1987 subsequently gave birth to a permanent ceasefire pact.

“With Secretary Teresita ‘Ging’ Deles already at the helm of OPAPP, the MILF and the Government Panels gave their mutual approval to continue the bilateral talks in Tripoli, Libya on June 22, 2001.

Principally, both panels agreed to hold subsequent discussions on the essential issues of: 1) security aspect (ceasefire); 2) rehabilitation and development of conflict-affected areas; and 3) ancestral domain.

Hataman said the ARMM under him had worked extensively on the second point, while the other two points were left to the negotiators of the both panels to hammer out.

“Within the sphere of the region’s mandates, our administration of the autonomous region becomes the first of seven dispensations to have opened partnership to peace endeavor with the Civil Society in our April 14, 2012 Social Contract—which effectively crafts and gives substance to efforts in rehabilitating and developing conflict-affected areas in all its five provinces and one-city components,” he said.

Close observers in the ARMM have expressed belief that like the 1998 Good Friday Agreement, the local Peace Process can earn its fair share in history for the Moro people and the rest of the Filipino Nation in a Modern World that is watching closely over them.

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