We may be at the cusp of history today.
After almost five (5) months of bated waiting under this new administration, the peace talks between the Government of the Philippines (GPH) and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) will finally resume today in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
We commend both panels for having settled earlier declared pre-conditions, positions and reservations.
We acknowledge that it is in the best interest of the peoples and communities who have long suffered the ill-effects of the conflict that a negotiated settlement be forged to resolve the remaining substantive issues in the negotiations.
And this we sincerely hope is reflective of the aspirations of the thousands whose lives will be impacted by any agreement reached by both panels.
We urge the GPH and MILF to likewise extend the mandate of the International Monitoring Team (IMT) whose presence is crucial in ensuring a favorable climate during the talks. We look forward to the earnest implementation of the new IMT mechanisms of civilian protection and monitoring adherence to humanitarian, human rights and international law between the GPH and MILF.
At the same time we call on the panels to maintain utmost transparency and strengthen mechanisms to provide updated information to the peoples of Mindanao and the entire nation concerning the talks and encourage citizen participation and feedback.
The Mindanao Peaceweavers (MPW) take this opportunity to re-affirm our unwavering support to the peace talks and offer the Mindanao Peoples Peace Agenda (MPPA) as a reference in the ongoing process.
As we join hands with our fellow peace advocates and the peoples of Mindanao in celebrating this new day of hope, we call for extra vigilance on this renewed process that it may not be held hostage by selfish interests bent on spoiling the peace.
We pray that this auspicious day will finally lead to a just and lasting resolution of the conflict that has blighted our beloved Mindanao.