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    Posted January 26, 2014 by

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    NoCot guv welcomes breakthrough in Mindanao peace accord

    North Cotabato Governor Emmylou Taliño-Mendoza hailed the signing of the Annex on Normalization by the Government of the Republic of the Philippine and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia over the weekend.

    The Annex on Normalization is the last of the four Annexes to the GPH-MILF Framework Agreement on the Bangsamoro (FAB), which was completed on 15 October 2012. This paves the way for the signing of the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro (CAB).

    In a statement, Gov. Mendoza said that the signing of the Normalization Annex and the Addendum on the Bangsamoro Maritime Jurisdiction to the Framework Agreement “brings to completion the formal but difficult part of the peace deal as we now have a comprehensive agreement”.

    “We commend both peace panels for their untiring work and unwavering commitment to forge the final annexes in order to move forward on the road to achieve this lasting peace. Being in North Cotabato and in Mindanao, we echo their sentiments that the comprehensive agreement should translate into positive changes in the lives of the people in the Bangsamoro and the rest of the country,” Gov. Mendoza said.

    “But as the rest of the stakeholders very well know, while the comprehensive agreement on the Bangsamoro has come to be, there is much work to be done to implement the provisions of the agreement and bring about real life changes. The Bangsamoro basic law must still be passed by Congress and this must consistent with our constitution,” she added.

    The governor said that although the conclusion of these final annexes may not immediately bring the ideal conditions of peace, certainly this would allow us to
    move forward towards the next stages of the implementation of the peace agreement.

    “This is the most opportune time to renew our call and commitment to continue our efforts to strengthen the collaboration among the bangsamoro people, christians and indigenous groups in pushing for lasting peace in mindanao in our journey towards achieving this peace,” Gov. Mendoza said.

    The governor expressed her province’s “solidarity with all the stakeholders in ensuring that the next and more difficult stages of the implementation would come to pass so we could finally have that peace we have long been wanting”.

    Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process Teresita Quintos Deles meanwhile called the breakthrough “a long-awaited moment that is a gift to our people at the start of a new year of renewed hope and commitment.”

    “It has been a very difficult road arriving at this major milestone of the peace process. The crafting of each of the four Annexes, together with the additional Addendum on Bangsamoro Waters, underwent painstaking deliberation by the two parties, backed up by thorough discussion and internal consensus-building on each side of the negotiating table, and grounded on extensive consultations with concerned local government units, religious and civil society leaders, and communities especially in the conflict-affected areas. 2013 saw very serious challenges to the peace process which both sides were able to overcome with deep faith that, indeed, peace is possible for those who persist and persevere,” Deles said.

    Deles said the ball is now on the hands of our legislators who will take on the crucial role of enacting the Bangsamoro Basic Law, which the Bangsamoro Transition Commission is now drafting.
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