Tan praised for hosting forum on Framework Agreement PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 07 December 2012 14:29

Officials of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) commended Sulu Governor Sakur Tan for hosting the Regional Forum on the Bangsamoro  Framework Agreement signed by the government and the Moro Islamic  Liberation Front (MILF) recently.

The forum held at the Provincial Multi-Purpose Gym Capitol Complex in Patikul, Sulu was held in connection with the celebration of the Mindanao Week of Peace. Its theme was “Towards a Common Stand of Regional Leaders on the Bangsamoro Framework Agreement “ 

The forum was attended by all stakeholders of ARMM and all governors of the five provinces — Basilan Gov. Jum Akbar, Tawi-Tawi Gov. Sadikul Sahali, Maguindanao Gov. Esmael “ Toto” Mangudadatu, and representaive from Lanao del Sur under Gov. Bombet Adiong, Government Negotiating Panel with Atty. Nabil Tan, Usec. Joe Lorena, OPPAP, MILF representatives and several others.

Gov. Tan told newsmen that the forum aims to inform the people about the GPH-MILF peace talks, especially on the Framework Agreement.

“The people want to know what is going on and they should not be treated as deaf and blind.  We are doing this because we want to inform our children, great, great grandchildren what is going on and we will inform them about the peace agreement.. The people answered the call to join this forum . We want the MILF and MNLF to stay united for peace and development,” Tan said.

Gov. Sadikul disclosed that there is no MILF in his province since time immemorial and Tawi-Tawi is very peaceful.

“But all of this situation, we always support the government for peace efforts for the people,” Sadikul said.

Tan also called on the government to make MILF surrender their firearms if they want peace.

He said the MILF should be disarmed by the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the Philippine National Police or there must be a decommissioning of their firearms.

“If they will run as candidates in the  2016 election and lose, what will happen to them?  Will they create troubles because they have still there firearms?. If  they run in an election they should be statesmen and fight with sportsmanship. We, the leaders, do not want to be surrounded by bodyguards because it is very expenxive. We want to walk freely . We  are tired of security, but because we are leaders we hire bodyguards for our safety,” Tan told newsmen.

Gov. Mangudadatu praised Tan for hosting the forum because the people of the five provinces of ARMM want to know what is going on and they have been demanding for consultations.

“All the stakeholders of ARMM — the people, academe, religious sector, business sector, civil society, LGUs, and others need not be dictated. They want to know all about of the peace talks because there has been no public consultation,” Mangudadatu said.

“I will also host a forum on the Bangsamoro Agreement. This will be scheduled on January 2013,” he said.

Sadikul, Gov. Jum Akbar and all the stakeholders praised Tan because, according to them, the forum was very fruitful and very successful.”

“We waited for this forum because we are concerned for the people,” Sadilul and Akbar said.

During the forum, a total of 14 resolutions was passed. One of the resolutions urges the government and the MILF to consider the representation, participation and inclusion of the core local government units as well as the Ulama and the women sector of the Bangsamoro as members of the Bangsamoro Transition Autority.

Another resolution was on the covenant of the provinces of Basilan, Lanao del Sur, Maguindanao, Sulu and Tawi-Tawi to work together in order to implement a massive information drive to ensure support for the peace initiatives embodied in the framework agreement.

A third resolution implores the leadership of the MNLF to magnanimously extend exhaustive efforts to ensure the harmonization and sustainability of the peace process.— Allen Abastillas