Jul 18 2013

PCEC SUPPORTS THE NEWLY-SIGNED GPH-MILF WEALTH SHARING DEAL

tendero-iqbal

L-R: Prof. Abhoud Sayyed Lingga, Bishop Efraim Tendero, and Chairman Mohagher Iqbal discuss how the Church could enhance its support to the GPH-MILF Peace Process, 14 May 2013, Simuay, Sultan Kudarat, Maguindanao.

I’m so happy to be a part of the Philippine Council of Evangelical Churches (PCEC) as it advance biblical peace and reconciliation as an integral part of their calling as a Body of Christ in the Philippines.

This is well-expressed in their latest statement supporting the current agreement made as part of the peace process between the Government of the Philippines (GPH) and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF):

PCEC STATEMENT ON THE GPH-MILF SIGNING OF THE WEALTH-SHARING ANNEX OF THE FRAMEWORK AGREEMENT ON THE BANGSAMORO

 

The Philippine Council of Evangelical Churches (PCEC) congratulates both peace-negotiating panels of the Government of the Philippines (GPH) and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) for their excellent work of cutting a breakthrough deal on the Annex on Revenue Generation and Wealth Sharing of the Framework Agreement on the Bangsamoro (FAB).

We thank God for the GPH Peace Panel talking with the MILF for their sincerity and firmness in guarding the interest of the Republic of the Philippines, and yet being flexible enough to recognize the Bangsamoro as a people with a distinct identity; as a people with their right to self-determination; and, as a people who have the right to manage their God-given resources.

We also thank God for the MILF Peace Panel for their firmness in upholding the principles of the Bangsamoro, yet affirming their respect for the national integrity of the Republic of the Philippines. Their patience, their flexibility, and their willingness to find a win-win path to come up with this breakthrough agreement on wealth sharing would eventually lead to a lasting and genuine peace in Mindanao and the whole Philippines.

We call on all who claim to follow Jesus Christ, the Prince of Peace, to “Turn away from evil and do good; seek peace and pursue it.” (Psalm 34:14 ESV). We can apply this biblical exhortation through the following:

• Seek to understand this Agreement using the biblical lenses of justice (Amos 5:24), and peace (Matthew 5:9). While we pray and work together for the unity, integrity and transformation of the Republic of the Philippines, we also want to affirm the diversity of each people group (ethnei) as the understanding of nationhood in the Gospels (Matthew 28:19).

Get your facts and information directly from the sources. Read the document called Annex on Revenue Generation and Wealth Sharing. Get your information from both the GPH and the MILF sources and perspectives. Refuse to be manipulated by black propaganda, calling for war and violence as the answer to the conflicts we’re facing as a nation, especially coming from those pockets of our society whose interests are to protect their war-based wealth and power.

• Be a channel of healthy dialogue and relationship-building discourse. As Christians, let us listen and seek to understand the point of view of our Muslim neighbors. “Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person.” (Colossians 4:6). This real-life discussion on resource sharing is a kairos-moment for us to engage our Muslim neighbors in love. (Matthew 22:39)

Like climbing Mount Apo, this newly-signed Wealth-Sharing Agreement would help all citizens of the Philippines–Christians, Muslims, and Indigenous People–reach the summit of peace in accordance with the will of God. Let us be mindful that the nearer we are to the summit, the more difficult the terrain and the more tiring the climb can become. But with God’s grace and mercy, there is new energy, new hope, and new sight of the summit of peace getting nearer each day!

Hallelujah! Alhamdulillah! Let there be peace in Mindanao! Let there be peace in the Philippines! Let there be peace on earth!

”Now may the Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times in every way. The Lord be with you all.” (2 Thessalonians 3:16 ESV)

PCEC Board of Directors July 18, 2013

For more information, please contact Bishop Efraim M. Tendero, tel. 9131658 or email info@pceconline.org.

May God continue to bless PCEC as it envisions to be a transforming presence of Jesus Christ in the Philippines.

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