July 14, 2012: Following are some of the comments attributed to the success of the Moro Leaders’ Assembly in Darapanan from July 6-9. None of those who spoke during the July 7 program made negative comments on the conduct of the assembly. Even those representing the MNLF like Dr. Abdulrahman Amin, MNLF permanent representative to the OIC, and Atty. Omar Sema, the representative-son of MNLF-Committee of 12 Chairman Muslimin Sema did not speak ill of the affair.
In her speech, Secretary Teresita “Ging” Quintos-Deles congratulated the MILF for holding this assembly with these words: “We in the national government recognize, thank, and salute the MILF leadership for taking this bold and historic step once again. Saludo po kami sa inyong (We salute for your) show of unarmed force in support of the peace process.
David Gorman, head of the Centre for Humanitarian Dialogue (HDC) and coordinator of the International Contact Group (ICG) made this comment of the affair: “I was truly impressed with the general assembly. It shows the mandate, legitimacy, and inclusivity of the MILF. It bodes well for the future entity. Congratulations!”
Atty. Mary Ann Arnado, secretary general of the Mindanao People’ Caucus, said these words for the assembly: “… Kudos for the assembly’s big success and I do hope will finally find a closure soonest!”
From Meg Kagawa of the Hiroshima University, who came all the way to Mindanao for the assembly, described her feeling this way: “Congratulations on your successful Assembly! I was amazed to observe a strong discipline of the MILF and sincerely efforts to build peace in Mindanao. Thank you very much to provide me an opportunity to be a witness of your historical event. Hope this moves peace talks. Yes, Bangsamoro people need self-determination.”
Dr. Steven Rood of the Asia Foundation, which is a member of the ICG, emailed this comment: “Congratulations to the Moro Islamic Liberation Front on the successful Bangsamoro Leaders Assembly. And thanks for the honor of the ICG to address the Assembly.”
These words come from Prof. Rommel C. Banlaoi, executive director, Philippine Institute for Peace, Violence and Terrorism Research: “Your assembly has humbled me intellectually.”
“Congratulations for holding successful assembly of Bangsamoro people.” This was the message of Atif Hamid, country representive of the Non-Violent Peaceforce.
“It was a grand success,” said one member of the Top 90 of the MNLF, who is now residing in Zamboanga City.