GPH-MILF Peace Roadmap : Meeting of the Hearts and Minds

With agreement reached on both the tone and content of the landmark peace framework between the Government of the Philippines (GPH) and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), we members and supporters of the Mindanao Peace Weavers (MPW), celebrate together with the whole of Mindanao, and the entire country on the nascent promise this pact brings. Our member networks, peoples’organizations, individual advocates and support secretariats who, despite the odds and past let-downs, now have cause to mark this promise-filled milestone.

Together, apart from rejoicing, we also give tribute to those who have patiently and thoroughly did their homework in developing a mutually desired body of principles that will frame the consensus agreements of the GPH-MILF peace talks. The shining leadership of both negotiating panels led by Dean Marvic Leonen and Mohaqer Iqbal and their respective members in the peace panels and technical working groups, have to be highly commended.

But the tribute is not theirs alone since this historic milestone is a product of collaboration and meeting of the minds of other stakeholders. We also offer our peace laurel to President Aquino who had shown what it takes to be more than a Statesman by being apeace champion of the highest order. Equally sharing this “peace crown” is the MILF Central Committee led by its venerable Chair Al Haj Murad and the rest of the sectors and communities in Mindanao who have shown resiliency both in times of war and peace.

We also mark this breakthrough to reckon with since we believe that we are not there, yet. It may still take awhile for the opportunity and promise of peace to be truly felt by the Bangsamoro, Lumad and Settlers in Mindanao. And we must prepare ourselves for the task unfolding before us. This “roadmap of peace” should be owned and shared by all as we forge our common quest of building a just and sustainable peace in Mindanao. This desired end remains our shared task, our common duty, an end we must not lose sight of.

We laud both leaderships and their allies for finally and resolutely deciding that the time of conflict and war is over, and that a paradigm founded on peace is now due for Mindanao and the rest of the country.

Consequently, we are calling for everyone’s unequivocal support and translate this in whatever ways possible – mobilize direct actions, media campaign, legalization processes by Congress, discourse development, and generating a trust vote for the “Bangsamoro”.

We believe that the long years of armed conflict will always be punctuated by milestones towards peace; the latter usually euphoric yet short-lived. But since Peace remains the most desirable reality in defining our lives, culture, society and nation – we make the most of it by celebrating and radiating its hopeful energy to all.

Let us not loosen our grip on this opportunity now handed to us,
Let us hold hands and walk at pace with one other,
Let us encourage others to join our ranks along the way,
Let us now explore and define this promise unveiled before us,
— our new Roadmap for Peace.

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