Representatives of civil society organizations deliver a statement of support to the respective chairpersons of the GPH and MILF Peace Panels. 04 August 2014, Waterfront Insular Hotel, Davao City. Photo Courtesy: OPAPP
The positive attitude of PeaceBuilders Community towards the Bangsamoro is energized by our peace theology.
While being supportive and actively praying for the success of the peace negotiations between the Government of the Philippines (GPH) and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), our hope for the future goes beyond politically negotiated agreements and beyond legislative acts of governments.
As a community of Christian peace and reconciliation missionaries, our hope is ultimately based on a biblical view of the final justice and peace on earth when Christ, the Prince of Peace, will govern the world with genuine justice for all. In our worldview, the reality of this radical just-peace began with the first coming of Jesus Christ and will be completed in His Second Coming. In this sense, the context of our peacebuilding mission is in the intersection of the ‘already’ and of the ‘not yet.’
It is this biblical hope that motivates us to call on our fellow Christians to repent, seek forgiveness, and correct our unjust actions, as well as to forgive, and to reconcile with, the people who treated us unjustly—in the past.
It is also this spiritual hope that energizes us to strive for just-peace in the present—including our support and advocacy for the on-going peace process between the GPH and the MILF.
It is because of this hope that we say, “Peace is possible!” with much conviction and passion.
From this theological perspective—
- We affirm our support for the 2012 Framework Agreement on the Bangsamoro and its four Annexes;
- We continue to celebrate the signed 2014 Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro, praying that it will be an effective instrument to attain just-peace in Mindanao and in the whole Philippines;
- We express our appreciation for both the GPH and MILF Peace Panels who demonstrated their dedication and commitment to peace as the “only option” in this negotiation;
- We applaud the Bangsamoro Transition Commission (BTC) for finally submitting a “mutually agreed draft” of the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) to the Office of the President;
- We call on His Excellency President Benigno Simeon Aquino III to certify the BBL before the Legislative Branch as an urgent bill;
- We call on the Legislative Branch of our government to process this Bangsamoro Basic Law with careful, responsible examination and deliberation using the lenses of justice, righteousness, and peace for all;
- We call on the People of the Philippines to look at this peace process through the reconciling eyes of their spiritual hearts and minds.
As we dream and work towards national peace and reconciliation, we resonate with the statement of the late Nelson Mandela: “In the end, reconciliation is a spiritual process, which requires more than just a legal framework. It has to happen in the hearts and minds of the people.”
And so, we pray for the completion of this peace process between the GPH and the MILF for the salaam-shalom of Mindanao and of the whole Philippines!
We deeply believe that peace is the will of God. May God’s will be done “on earth as it is in heaven.”