Friday, October 1, 2010

High hopes for peace as Sarangani reorganizes GRP-MILF monitoring team

ALABEL, Sarangani (September 30, 2010) – With the reorganization of the GRP-MILF Local Monitoring Team (LMT) in Sarangani, peace advocates have expressed “high hopes” for peace and pledged support to the GRP-MILF peace process.

“I have high hopes with the present composition of the panelists, both in the GRP and MILF, that we will be able to finally iron out the kinks and resolve all the issues laid down in the negotiating table,” said Board Member Abdulrahman Pangolima, Sangguniang Panlalawigan committee chair on peace and order.

Speaking at the (Government of the Republic of the Philippines) GRP – (Moro Islamic Liberation Front) MILF Local Monitoring Team Orientation and Planning Wednesday (September 29), Pangolima said he was “promoting peace by talking to the Muslim communities to support the peace efforts of the government.”

Sarangani’s LMT was the first to be reorganized in Mindanao

Governor Migs Dominguez presided over the meeting with Ustadz Abdulwahab Hussain, representative of the MILF Coordinating Committee on the Cessation of Hostilities (MILF-CCCH), Philippine Army Major Carlos Sol, head of GRP-CCCH secretariat, and International Monitoring Team head of mission Malaysian Maj. Gen. Datuk Baharom bin Hamzah. The meeting was attended by local government officials and multi-sectoral representatives.

“We aim to foster peace and development through multi-sectoral efforts that would strengthen our advocacy on the cessation of hostilities. We are hopeful of the peace process to be undertaken by the administration,” the governor said.

The members of the reorganized LMT are Aniceto Lopez Jr., Julian Montemayor, Ustadz Abdulbayan Laguialam, Baser Nawa and Ebrahim Makatimbol.

“The new members of the GRP-MILF LMT were oriented on their roles and function as a fact-finding committee,” said Jocelyn Kanda, head of the Kalinaw (Peace) Sarangani Program of the provincial government. “We should be informed and updated about the peace process between the GRP and MILF.”

Kanda said the CCCH “would like to make our province a model to other provinces. They would like to replicate the initiatives of Governor Migs Dominguez on peace and development having a concrete and institutionalized Kalinaw Program.”

Kalinaw Sarangani Program received the Galing Pook 2009 Award in Malacanang for the province’s peace and development initiatives.

During the LMT orientation and planning, participants signed a “Pledge of Support to the GRP-MILF Peace Process”. The “pledge” acknowledges “the efforts of the GRP and MILF in the quest for lasting peace in Mindanao” and remains “adherent to the primacy of the peace process.”

It “believes that peace is everyone’s responsibility and which can be achieved with the active involvement of various stakeholders”.
“We express our incessant support to any mutual move or action of the GRP and MILF in consonance to the achievement of the final peace settlement. Further, we are adamant in our belief that the attainment of genuine peace would spring the country towards economic prosperity and progress,” according to the “pledge”. (SARANGANI INFORMATION OFFICE)

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