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Japan’s support a boost to peace process – Ferrer

By ALEX D. LOPEZ

DAVAO CITY – The government panel (GPH) in talks with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) recently expressed appreciation to the continued support that the Japanese government manifested to the ongoing peace process in Mindanao.

In a statement, GPH panel chair Miriam Coronel-Ferrer said: “We thank the Japanese government for its solid support for the Bangsamoro peace process.”

The chief negotiator added that the peace process gains strength from such support from the international community, as it showed their understanding to the country’s yearning for peace and development.

Ferrer’s statement came after the recent visit of Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) chair Al haj Murad Ibrahim this month in Japan where he was received by Foreign Minister Kishida.

Murad was accompanied by Secretary Yasmin Bursan-Lao of the National Commission on Muslim Filipinos (NMCF) and Philippine Ambassador to Japan Manuel M. Lopez during the meeting that was a sideline during the conduct of the high-level seminar on “Peace-building, National Reconciliation and Democratization in Asia”, an event that was organized by the Japanese government.

The Japanese foreign minister lauded the continuing progress of the peace process in Mindanao and reiterated Japan’s resolve to assist the Bangsamoro process.

Japan also assured Murad of their help to spur development in areas that will be covered by the new political entity as defined in the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL).

Ferrer also assured the international community of the government’s commitment to pursue the peace process.

“Despite the delay in the passage of the Bangsamoro Basic Law, we assure our foreign partners of our government’s full commitment to pursue the peace process till we achieve lasting peace in Mindanao,” she emphasized.

Aside from the international community Ferrer also lauded the continued pouring in of local groups and leaders to the peace talks.

She attributed the coming in of support to the sincerity that the MILF had shown to the entire process, the latest of which was the decommissioning of its forces and armaments.

“Unti-unti nakikita na natin ang bunga ng pagpapakita ng sinseridad ng MILF sa peace process,” Professor Coronel-Ferrer emphasized.

She added that developments in the peace talks have encouraged many people to contribute their time, talents and even resources for the attainment of genuine peace and development in Mindanao.

Most of the support, she added are aimed for the realization of peaceful communities in the Bangsamoro so that children go on with their schooling undisturbed by armed conflicts and animosities.

“Marami ang gustong tumulong at maki-ambag para sa pagkakaroon ng tunay na kapayapaan at sa pagsiguro na ito ay mararamdaman ng mga kabataan.”

Ferrer also expressed gratitude to the governors and other government officials who manifested their unwavering and steadfast support to the peace process.

“Nagpapasalamat tayo sa mga gaya ni Gov. Toto Mangudadatu na nakikibahagi sa ating adhikain at sinisiguro ang isang magandang bukas para sa mga kabataan ng Bangsamoro.”

Governor Mangudadatu spearheaded the peace summit in Buluan last May that was attended by thousands peace advocates from Mindanao and even from South Korea.

Aside from Mangudadatu, Governor Daisy Avance-Fuentes of South Cotabato also voiced-out her admiration to the decommissioning of the MILF combatants and firearms, calling the same as a “sign of goodwill”.

North Cotabato Governor Emmylou Taliño-Mendoza also personally witnessed the actual decommissioning lately in Sultan Kudarat, Maguindanao. RANAO STAR
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