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Fast track GPH-MILF peace negotiation

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The legitimate struggle of the Bangsamoro people for their right to self-determination and freedom being spearheaded by the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) has been here with us for quite a time.

Believing, however, that negotiation is the most practical and civilized way to resolve the Moro Question, the MILF entered peace negotiation with the Government of the Philippine (GPH) in 1997. For 14 years since then, the peace negotiation has been in an off-and-on mode and no political agreement has been reached yet.

Under the Aquino administration, the MILF submitted a proposal with a political structure which will give a space for the Bangsamoro people to exercise their right to self-determination in the form of a state-sub-state relationship. It is strongly believed that the proposed sub-state is not a divisive approach in resolving the Moro Question but, rather, a formula for national unity and reconciliation. It is a power-sharing formula. It does not monopolize the political and economic dimensions of governance.

The Philippine government, after seven months, came up with a proposal containing the so-called 3-for-1 formula. But the government’s proposal was rejected by the MILF peace panel.

Now, the Bangsamoro people have been tired already of awaiting the result of the peace negotiations.

Political will and sincerity on the part of President Benigno Aquino are primary requisites for resolving a political conflict.

Along this line, we, the United Youth for Peace and Development (UNYPAD), call on the Philippine government to fast track the signing of a peace agreement with the MILF since the longer the negotiation takes, the greater the tendency that the conflict may become complicated. The Bangsamoro people, through the MILF, lowered their demand from independence to a mere sub-state. What can the government offer in response to the MILF who made considerable degree of sacrifice?

We call on the Filipino leaders to really understand the historical roots of the Bangsamoro struggle and be not captive of their personal vested interests and bigotry. The discrimination and injustices we have been suffering from the hands of the Philippines have just been too much. Please give us our rightful share of political sovereignty.

We appeal to the legislators of the government to amend the constitution and accommodate the would-be agreement between the GPH and MILF.

We appeal to the international community to help us restore the long lost freedom of the Bangsamoro through a peaceful means or a negotiated political settlement.

Finally, we call on the government to fast track the peace negotiation with the MILF and hold in abeyance the exploration of oil and other natural resources in the Bangsamoro Homeland until such time that the MILF and the Philippine government shall have been able to come up finally with and sign a peace agreement.

By United Youth for Peace and Development, Inc.




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