MANILA, Philippines- The Philippine government and the leaders of the Moro Islamic Liberation front (MILF) signed Monday at Malacañang Palace a preliminary peace pact aimed at ending decades of fighting in Mindanao.
The agreement was sealed by the government and MILF panels around 3 p.m.
“Today, I extend the hand of friendship to the Filipino people… today we are here to put an end to the adversarial relationship between the Bangsamoro and the Philippine nation. Today it humbles me to say before you, we stayed our course, perseverance has prevailed,” MILF Chief Al Haj Murad Ebrahim said in a speech before the landmark signing of the agreement.
President Benigno Aquino III said the agreement will lead to positive changes and “we now all share the triumph of this agreement.”
“Today we signed an agreement that can finally see, genuine lasting peace in Mindanao,” Aquino said.
“This agreement marks a new chapter in history.”
The agreement was the first major step toward a final settlement that grants minority Muslims in the Mindanao broad autonomy in exchange for ending the violence that has killed tens of thousands of people and crippled development. Many of the rebel leaders interviewed said a lot of work lies ahead in convincing Filipino Muslims to accept a new administrative region.
A product of 15 years of negotiations facilitated by neighboring Malaysia, which wants stability on its doorstep, the agreement sets in motion a roadmap to a final document that the MILF and Aquino’s government plan to clinch before his six-year terms ends in 2016.
The signing was witnessed by Aquino, Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak and rebel chairman Al Haj Murad Ebrahim, who will set foot for the first time in Manila’s Malacañang presidential palace, where officials prepared a red-carpet welcome.
Describing the deal as “a chance to restore dignity” to Mindanao, the Malaysian leader vowed to support the pact: “We will stand with you to make this agreement work.”
“I congratulate all who made this possible,” Razak said.
But Razak warned that the deal “will not save a life unless all parties stand on the principles on which this agreement rests.”
“All those involved in Framework Agreement laid foundations for an enduring peace Framework Agreement does not solve all problems; it sets parameters for peace, restores dignity to people of south,” he said. |
“This marks beginning of era in Southern Philippines. I look forward to the final agreement. After decades, peace is within reach,” he said.
The 13-page document outlines general agreements on major issues, including the extent of power, revenues and territory granted for a new Muslim autonomous region to be called Bangsamoro.
It calls for the establishment of a 15-member Transition Commission to draft a law creating the new Muslim-administered region. The 11,000-strong rebel army will be deactivated gradually “beyond use,” the agreement says, without specifying a timetable. With a report from AP
Assalamo alaykom warahmatullahi Wa Barakatuh.
We have just organized last year 2011 the Ranao Organization for Development Initiatives, Inc. (RDI), with an office at KFI Building, Biaba Damag, Marawi City.
Our current members are of different intellects, professions and personalities, but with common interest. We are based in different places, such as Lanao del Sur, Lanao del Norte Metro Manila, and abroad like Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Kuwait, UAE, etc..
Our main objective is to work hand in hand and united to take initiatives for the development of our homeland and the life of our fellow Maranaos at all aspects in consonance with the teachings of Islam, insha Allah.
"The Ranao Organization Development Initiatives Inc. is a recognized organization under the law of Philippines, is committed to Health, Safety, livelihood, security of public, advancement and protecting the asset as well as environment of Ranao province , and striving to set and execute a feasible plan on applicable measures for the improvement of Ranao Province to put into valuable and a better life of Ranao constituents leading to inspiring future possibility, through the implementation of high standards of quality work and promoting its compliance to standard Islamic law and providing the utmost precedence resources in the guidelines and implementation of abundant sustenance , peace and order of Ranao province."
Therefore, if you have the same sentiment and interest, then you are cordially invited to join us by sending and affirmation message to
. Or for more information, please visit our website www.ranao.org
Abdul Rahiim Desinon
Public Information Officer (overseas-based)
Ranao Organization for Development Initiatives, Inc. (RDI)