Deles to ASEAN: Stand for our dream for peace

By Aileen Garcia-Yap |March 19,2015 - 12:04 AM

Presidential peace adviser Secretary Teresita “Ging” Deles turned to diplomats of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) for support on the Mindanao peace process that has been stalled by a botched police operation in Mamasapano, Maguindanao last January 25.

“I wish to appeal for your help (Asean) call upon your leaders to stand for our dream of the Bangsamoro,” Deles said in her keynote address to the Asean Institute for Peace and Reconciliation (AIPR) Workshop on Strengthening Women’s Participation in Peace Process.

Secretary Deles of the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process said  the global community saw much  promise that the long-running Muslim rebellion in Mindanao may finally be resolved with the signing of the final peace agreement between the Government of the Philippines and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) in March last year and the planned approval of the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) by Congress  this month.

“At a time when the embrace of former enemies should have been completed, we now have a Bangsamoro BAsic Law pilloried on the altar of divisive politics, effectively derailing a confident timetable that promised to conclusively shift the landscape of Mindanao from the bullet to the ballot, from conflict to development, from enslavement to poverty and marginalization to the freedom of democratic choice and self-driven governance and development,” she said.

Both the Senate and the House are uncertain whether to resume deliberations on the BBL which would have paved way for an enhanced autonomy in Muslim Mindanao.
Deles said that support from other countries is always important.

While the BBL would be our law, the international voice will always have an effect on us Filipinos and our leaders, she said.

“Your voices, thrown far and wide, in unison and volume, will help raise the consciousness of our own Philippine nation to push forward,” Deles said.

 Women’s role

Deles emphasize the critical role that women play in working out peace which is what the workshop aims to also highlight.

She said all over the world, women are at the bold frontlines of peace.

“I call upon the Filipinos to be apprehensive of war.  There is no assurance with BBL but it’s a leap of faith that somehow we can achieve that dream of peace,” she said.

At present, the Philippines is the first country in ASEAN, followed by Indonesia, that has adopted and is implementing a National Action Plan on Women, Peace and Security.

The plan contains specific pillars or targeted outcomes on women’s empowerment and participation in conflict resolution and management, peacemaking, peacekeeping and peace building.

Deles said other countries like Malaysia, Japan, the Arab States and Europe have been very supportive in the past peace process through helping with ceasefire talks and bringing in projects in the conflict areas.

She said she will be more pleased if more countries would voice out support to resume peace talks in the country.

Be afraid of war

After Mamasapano, Deles said the old biases, the submerged fears, and bigotry have again exploded in our body politic.

She said that the peace that so many have worked for and dreamed of has been within our grasp in the advent of the new year.

Now, the momentum has been broken.

“I call upon the Filipinos to be more apprehensive of war… In war we are assured of one thing -that we will lose so much of that development that was promised not only in Mindanao but in the entire country,” she said.

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