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Mindanao Bishops, MILF: pursue peace process, call for ceasefire

by AJLPP Tuesday, Aug. 19, 2008 at 6:23 AM
magsasakapil@hotmail.com 213-241-0906 337 Glendale Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90026

The Mindanao Bishops and Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) reiterated their commitment to pursue the realm of peace, justice, solidarity and development as well as the peaceful resolution of the Mindanao conflict and Bangsamoro problem through the ongoing peace process between the government and MILF. “The MILF and the Bishops reiterate unwavering moral commitment to pursue the path to peace, solidarity, justice and development in Mindanao, and resolve and support to the continuation of the peace process between the MILF and the government until its successful conclusion is achieved,” stated in their Joint Communique’ issued after their peace dialogue held at the Archbishop’s Residence in Davao City on August 14, 2008.

AJLPP Mindanao Update
Aug 18, 2008

Mindanao Bishops, MILF: pursue peace process, call for ceasefire

Davao City. Aug 15 --The Mindanao Bishops and Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) reiterated their commitment to pursue the realm of peace, justice, solidarity and development as well as the peaceful resolution of the Mindanao conflict and Bangsamoro problem through the ongoing peace process between the government and MILF.

“The MILF and the Bishops reiterate unwavering moral commitment to pursue the path to peace, solidarity, justice and development in Mindanao, and resolve and support to the continuation of the peace process between the MILF and the government until its successful conclusion is achieved,” stated in their Joint Communique’ issued after their peace dialogue held at the Archbishop’s Residence in Davao City on August 14, 2008.

The dialogue was the first-ever between the Catholic Bishops of Mindanao and MILF which the sides described as epitomizing utmost sincerity, trust and cordiality, and a historic significant initiative as a way forward in advancing the common quest for genuine peace, unity and development in Mindanao.

Archbishop Fernando Capalla of Davao, co-convenor of the Bishops-Ulama Conference, led the Bishops and the MILF officials by Mohagher Iqbal, MILF Chief Peace Negotiator.

“We are indeed very happy to host this historic occasion. This is the very first time that high officials of the MILF were able to come to the Bishop’s House and we are very glad to be with,” said Archbishop Capalla, adding that His Eminence Cardinal Rosales, Cardinal Vidal and the Papal Nuncio in Manila were informed of the dialogue.

For his part, Chairman Iqbal said “We went our way to be here with you in the hallowed name of peace with our strong appeal for strong cooperation from all sectors in our stride to achieve peace in Mindanao .”

“We all know that peace is so precious for all of us and so in the spirit of openness and frankness, we shall move forward with the process in searching for truth and justice as paramount foundation towards peace in Mindanao ,” Iqbal said.

Joining them for the dialogue were Archbishop Orlando Quevedo of Cotabato, Auxialiary Bishop Jose Colin Bagaforo of Cotabato, Bishop Honesto Pacana of Malaybalay, Bishop Juan de Dios Pueblos of Butuan, Bishop Neri Ochimar of Tandag, Surigao del Sur, Bishop Edwin dela Pena of Marawi City, Bishop Anonieto Cabahug of Surigao City; MILF Senior Peace Panel Member Atty. Datu Michael Mastura, Ustaz Mohammad Montasir and Ustaz Mohammad Abdullah, both members of the MILF Central Committee, MILF AHJAG Chairman Atty. Abdul Dataya, MILF Peace Panel Head Secretariat Jun Mantawil, MILF Peace Panel Secretariat Member Mohajirin Ali, and MILF Ceasefire Committee Secretariat Head Rasid Ladiasan.

During the dialogue, the Bishops asked the MILF on its stand on the present status of the Memorandum of Agreement on the Ancestral Domain (MOA-AD), clashes in some towns of North Cotabato, concerns on the indigenous peoples’ issues, and how can the Bishops be help to the GRP – MILF peace process.

Reverend Archbishops Quevedo, who in his recent write ups said the MOA-AD could bring lasting peace in Mindanao for all its people, said the “new information” shared by the MILF on the MOA-AD are very helpful in appreciating further the document.

However, Bishops Quevedo stressed the imperative of holding more dialogue and education campaign to avoid the negative repercussions that the MOA – AD could possibly unfold.

“The Bishops and representatives of the highest leadership of the MILF called on all sectors of the society for sobriety and calmness in confronting and resolving the issues besetting the forging of the GRP – MILF: MOA–AD,” said the Joint Communique.

It also stated “Both Parties also manifested their strong appeal for an immediate declaration of ceasefire to the ongoing armed clashes in some towns of North Cotabato, and immediate delivery of relief assistance and rehabilitation programs for the affected communities by all concerned institutions, local and international.”

Both parties resolved that dialogue and educational programs must be intensified, particularly by the religious leaders and academic institutions, relative to the ongoing peace process in Mindanao.

August 15, 2008
Rasid Ladiasan, Correspondent

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