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Prelates welcome Phl-MILF peace framework, but …

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MANILA, Oct. 9, 2012?At least two Catholic prelates said the government should involve more stakeholders in the discussions of the contents of 2012 Framework Agreement on the Bangsamoro and Joint Communique issued by no less than President Benigno Simeon C. Aquino III in Malacanang, last October 7.

Most lawmakers and foreign governments have welcomed the latest agreement between the Philippine government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front to end bitter fighting and dislocation of thousands of villagers.

But Isabela de Basilan Bishop Martin S. Jumoad said that while it is always “good news” to attain peace, all agreements should be according to the provisions of the 1987 Constitution and should be submitted to the people of Mindanao for ratification.

For his part, Cotabato City Auxiliary Bishop Jose Colin Bagaforo said he welcomes the efforts of both the government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front to bring peace in Southern Philippines.

He called on the government to “aggressively initiate public fora for explanation and discussions on the content and implications of the draft.”

“The government being the other part in this talk is obligated to seek consultation from among non-MILF as they are also stakeholders,” the prelate said.

He likewise called on the government to postpone the October 15 signing to the first week of December because the agreement needs a “wider acceptability among the stakeholders and have the sense of owning it, which are both necessary for the agreement’s success.”

He further said all sectors should be involved in the discussions.   (Melo M. Acuna)


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