Gov’t pledges final peace pact with MILF to be publicized before signing PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 22 May 2012 14:07

Assuring the Filipino people of full transparency, Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process Teresita Quintos-Deles said over the weekend the final peace agreement with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) will be first publicized before it is signed by the government peace panel.

“There are no hidden agenda when it comes to the government’s negotiations with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) or with any group, for that matter,” Deles told civil society organizations during a forum in Zamboanga City.

“The promise of the government is that before there is an initialing of a document that is to be signed, it is going to be publicized,” she stressed.

One in a series of public consultations for the talks between the government and the MILF, the meeting gave the peace adviser an opportunity to explain and Deles gave an update to members of civil society on the latest developments on the peace process and clarified issues raised during the forum.

“We want to come out with a plan that addresses the concerns of the party we are talking to. Likewise, it should be something that can be accepted not just by the group we are negotiating with, but by the Filipino people, something to be internationally seen as the best the government can offer under the circumstances,” Deles said.

She quashed worries and concerns from sectors that fear of a negative impact from a possible peace agreement with the MILF. Deles said that they are working based on the principle of “consent of the governed,” which is a legacy of democracy passed on to President Benigno S. Aquino III by his parents.

She said that the President gives high value to this principle to ensure that any peace agreement entered into by the government will have the support of the people. Hence, it serves as a guide for the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP) and the government peace panel in the conduct of the negotiations.

Deles also explained the memorandum of instructions from the President which serves as the guidelines for the government panel in the peace negotiations. “(We are instructed to) learn from the lessons of the past. And the very recent past is the 2008 MOA-AD (Memorandum of Agreement on Ancestral Domain),” she added.

The MOA-AD was declared as unconstitutional by the Supreme Court in 2008 because of the lack of public consultations.

Another instruction and guiding principle is for the government’s ability to deliver on the commitments made and agreed upon. It should be politically, economically, socially, and culturally acceptable.

“Our commitment is to come out with the best settlement the government has to offer. One that is reasonable and doable,” Deles stressed.