May 21, 2012 News: A Manifesto of unity and support to the ongoing Government of the Philippines – Moro Islamic Liberation Front (GPH – MILF) Peace Negotiation was unanimously adopted and signed by the People’s Peace Assembly convened yesterday at a gymnasium in Mati City, Davao Oriental.
The Assembly gathered some 5000 participants representing civil society groups from Davao Oriental, Davao del Sur, Davao del Norte and Compostela Valley.
The Mindanao People’s Caucus (MPC), Mindanao Human Rights Action Center (MinHRAC), United Youth of the Philippines (UNYPHIL), United Youth for Peace and Development (UNYPAD) and other non-government organizations (NGOs) organized the Assembly.
A close coordination and collaboration with the concerned local government units, and MILF political and military organization was mustered to ensure greater participation, ownership and obligation from the stakeholders.
The full panel of the MILF Peace Negotiators – Chairman Mohagher Iqbal and members Prof. Abhoud Lingga, Adbullah Camlian, Maulana Alonto, Datu Antonio Kinoc and Jun Mantawil – spoke to the Assembly of the progress and prospects of the peace negotiations between the government and MILF.
“In the 15 long years of my hands on involvement with the peace talks between the government and MILF, now is the only time that I can see a flickering light at the end of the tunnel,” Iqbal said.
“We see the possibility of signing a comprehensive peace compact If only the government really has sincerity, political will and determination,” he added.
Michelle Rabat, Mayor of Mati City, and some members of the Provincial Legislative Assembly of Davao Oriental, present during the affair, pronounced their full support to the peace negotiations.
The Manifesto states “through this Peace Assembly, we register our support to the ongoing peace negotiations between the GPH and MILF.”
“We support the formulation of the final resolution of the aged-old Mindanao conflict during this current peace negotiation between the GPH and MILF. We believe that through this initiative of our today, the future generation may live in peace, equality, justice and most of all economic sufficiency,” the Manifesto states.
“We urge the Government of this Republic to sincerely address all concerns pertaining to the Moro Questions and indigenous people’s agenda.”
The women sector said “the unity we have seen this time is a result of our continued assertion, undying support and selfless hard work. This is despite our limitation and scarcity of resources.”