Updates Per Peace Table

milf

Building blocks for peace in place on the ground - Deles

Manila, June 6 – Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process Teresita Quintos Deles on Monday stressed that building blocks for peace are being put in place to complement the ongoing peace negotiations between the Government of the Philippines (GPH) and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF).

The GPH and the MILF peace panels recently concluded the three-day 28th formal exploratory talks in Kuala Lumpur last month with both parties agreeing to return to their principals and further refine their respective positions on the substantive agenda.

Deles cited positive developments on the ground, such as the ongoing governance reform agenda of the Aquino administration in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) and the recent reconciliation between the political families of the Hatamans and Akbars in Basilan, underscoring that these are important for promoting peace in the local communities. 

At the same time, the peace adviser mentioned the upcoming inauguration of the building of the MILF’s Bangsamoro Leadership and Management Institute (BLMI) in the south.

“The government supports the initiative by the MILF to establish the said institute. This has been formally agreed upon by the two parties in 2007 because it this is a good preparation for a possible peace agreement, that they are mainstreamed into politics and governance. As an institute, it serves to prepare young Moro leaders for governance and leadership,” she stated.

Deles added that “we should support such moves because anything that goes into preparation for development and governance are energies that are taken away in preparation for war.  Physically, we can see the efforts of the MILF for the peace process.”

The peace adviser reiterated her message that “peace can be won not just on the table; it has to be waged on the ground.”

Celebrating distinct identities and culture

Deles underscored the importance of promoting “respect and understanding of cultural diversities" in the peace process during the 38th National Qur’an Reading Competition anchored on the theme “The Holy Qur’an: Beacon of Guidance, The Halal Way of Life.” 

Organized by the National Commission on Muslim Filipinos (NCMF), the event was held recently at University of the Philippines (UP) Film Center in Diliman, Quezon City.

In her message, Deles said she is “happy to support the event that preserves, promotes, and enhances the Islamic heritage of Muslim Filipinos.”

“We cannot achieve lasting peace until we are able to fully recognize, honor, celebrate the distinct identities, histories and culture of the different peoples who inhabit our myriad islands. We are gathered here to celebrate the distinct identity of Muslim Filipinos,” added Deles.

NCMF officials led by Secretary and Chair Mehol K. Sadain, the rest of the Commissioners as well as foreign envoys, including Pakistan Ambassador Mohsin Razi and Saudi Arabia Deputy Head of Mission and Counsellor Muhanna Alkhail were present during the opening program.

Sadain relayed the "spiritual, moral, intellectual and artistic value" of reading the Qur'an. He conveyed that the "beauty of the Holy Qur'an is living it; it's appreciation and application in our (Muslims') daily lives." 

For his part, NCMF Commissioner for Sama Mirkarl Allian echoed hopes that such religious undertakings will “strengthen the Bangsamoro people’s aspiration for peace and unity so that development will be achieved” in Mindanao. 

The National Qur’an Reading Competition in the Philippines is designed and envisioned to produce the best Qur’an readers in the country, both male and female. The winner at the national level will represent the country in the international level of the competition. #