PLARIDEL, Bulacan —‘Yes for Peace’ advocates hailed the cancellation of back door negotiations with the National Democratic Front scheduled in the next few days and the meeting between President Rodrigo Roa Duterte and Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) Chairman Nur Misuari together with government peace negotiators.
Ernesto Angeles Alcanzare, Lead Organizer of Yes for Peace – Bayanihan ng Bayan said, “While these developments in the comprehensive peace process have practically thrown us back into the 1990s, these may be the best moves that the government can take considering recent developments on the ground.”
Severo Catura, former Executive Director of the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process and currently the Executive Director of the Presidential Committee on Human Rights said, “The State, through its legitimate government, shall remain faithful to its duty to promote and protect our people’s right to peace.”“The government’s decision to call off continuing negotiations with the Communist insurgents shows that the peace we aspire for shall be founded on political maturity and stability,” Catura continued, “and not continually be threatened by the insincerity and selfish motivations of non-State groups.”
For his part, Mama S. Lalanto, al Haj, a member of the Regional Consultative Commission (RCC) that drafted the proposed law creating the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) noted, “The draft that we submitted to Congress for its affirmation in 1988 was acceptable to the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF), the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), the Christians and Lumads in the concerned provinces, cities and municipalities.”
“It is very unfortunate, however, that the members of that Congress mangled it beyond recognition and adopted an ARMM Law that was bound to fail and subsequently perpetuated the armed revolutionary mindset of the MILF,” Lalanto observed.
“We are fully aware of President Duterte’s sincere gesture to completely implement the agreements entered into by the government with the MNLF while seriously considering the demands of the MILF with due consideration to the interests of Christians and Lumads in the Bangsamoro area,” Lalanto continued.
“Perhaps, it would facilitate the enactment of the Bangsamoro Basic Law if the RCC draft can be used as a given to generate a consensus among all affected sectors in Mindanao,” Lalanto suggested.
Meanwhile, Department of Education (DepEd) Secretary Leonor Magtolis Briones declared in DepEd Memorandum No. 66, s. 2017 for the implementation of Yes for Peace in all public and private elementary and high schools from July to September this year, “Recent events have once again underscored the importance and indispensability of the three principles underlying the peace process.”
The three principles enumerated by Briones in her memorandum were adopted during the incumbency of former President Fidel V. Ramos who remains to be an avid supporter and respected critic of Duterte whom he helped get elected as President.