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Deles asks for help to sustain Bangsamoro peace pact

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(BY: HADER GLANG)        The Philippine government presidential adviser has rallied stakeholders to support the southern peace process as negotiators of the government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) are about to finalize Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) and submit to congress within the month.

In a broadcast interview in Davao City Monday, Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process Teresita Quintos Deles said they really need to ask the assistance of as many other parties as possible to help explain (the issues).

Deles gave the statement in light of questions on issues surrounding the southern peace process.

The government and the MILF peace panels have been discussing section per section the draft bill In Davao City since August 1 and concluded on Sunday with portions of the draft document gained substantial agreement from the parties.

“It is important to have more voices, more informed voices helping to clarify... The call is really for everyone who think this is important. And I believe there are many of them and many of them have come forward.  The business sector, for example, has already said this is important and more of them are saying: ‘yes we want to be part of helping to clarify.’ And there are others, the religious, the civil society, and of course, the academe,” Deles said.

In a joint statement, it said the panels reiterated their commitment to finish an agreed draft Bangsamoro Basic Law by August 18, 2014, in shaAllah (in God’s will), in order to allow the Office of the President to submit the same to Congress as soon as possible.

The bill aims to establish the Bangsamoro region and its ministerial-form of government as a result of the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro (CAB) that the  government and the MILF signed last March 27.

Deles said it is essential for all stakeholders to give the much needed backing to sustain the peace agreement.

“This has to be a multi-stakeholder process and, yes, that is an important challenge. And I have said it many times before, the work cannot be left just to the government and the MILF that signed the peace agreement.  (For) people who think that this matters to our country, it matters to our future, now is the time to step up and ask how you can help to be part of it,” she said.

She said public support is vital, especially when the draft bill will reach Congress.

“We ask again everyone who wants to accompany the peace process to be ready for that... I hope people are seeing we are on track to overcome [difficulties].  This will not be the last of it, but we will continue to pursue it in this way,” she said.

“We have enough allies and I am happy that what I am hearing from the legislature of both houses is that there is a good amount of multipartyinterest and concern and support that this gets passed,” said Deles.

She believes it is a good sign that people are willing to cross party lines to support the peace process.

“We will work so hard that people will know that this deserves that kind of support from Congress,” she said.

By: Hader Glang




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