Peace advocates call for transparency in GRP-MILF peace talkstext & photo HADER GLANGPeace advocates from Zamboanga, Basilan, Sulu and Tawi-Tawi have called on for transparency in the on going peace talks between the Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GRP) and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF).
Calling themselves the ZamBaSulta Coalition of Peace Advocates, on Thursday they urged the GRP and MILF panels to be transparent because the communities and the stakeholders would like to know even to contribute to resolve the conflict.
The peace advocates also asked the Local Government Unit (LGU) officials and their followers to be opened especially to those people who are having some leadership position in the community.
Last March 27, a forum on the GRP-MILF peace negotiations called by the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process with the City Government of Zamboanga rejected the inclusion of the city in an area potentially called the “Bangsamoro Juridical Entity.”
“We have to look for the agreement…not only the parties (panels)…not only between the government and the representatives of the ‘Bangsamoro’ but between two or three or more communities that still exist in Mindanao,” said Fr. Angel Calvo, president of Peace Advocates of Zamboanga (PAZ).
“Everybody should be informed about the elements of the issues and participate in support of this process. We need a coalition. We need to continue analyzing historically the problem. We need to reinforce each other, looking for ways and avenues to solve the conflict,” he added.
Although the signing of a peace pact between the government and the MILF is one step that would help solve some legal problem, but Fr. Calvo believes the agreement is not the total solution of the conflict.
“It (the conflict) doesn’t end even if an agreement is signed. This is why, we need a society prepare in the role of the coalition of peace advocates. The role of peace education and understanding…looking for alternatives…this is why the peace process continues beyond the agreement.”
Earlier, a consortium of Inter-religious Solidarity Movement for Peace also called for interventions that are transparent, pursued by peaceful means, aim justice for all, and lead to reconciliation and healing.
The group said that the so-called Mindanao problem is not a conflict that involves only the Muslim communities, but also the non-Islamized peoples. “It is not a set of hostilities that affects only the Southern Philippines, but the entire country as well.” (ZS)