MANILA, Philippines—“This is it.”

“As far as what is possible without making false promises, this is it, and we continue to hope that the entire Bangsamoro will see it that way as well,” Teresita Quintos-Deles, the presidential adviser on the peace process, said on the eve of the signing of a peace agreement with the bigger Muslim insurgent movements in Mindanao.

The stage is set for the signing Thursday of the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro (CAB), a five-page document representing the final peace accord between the government and the secessionist Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF).

Deles is optimistic that the agreement with the MILF will lead to lasting peace in Mindanao.

“I think we have a good enough platform to be able to say that, that this is giving it as far as it can go,” she told a Palace press briefing.

1,000 guests at signing

More than 1,000 guests are expected to witness the signing, with nearly 500 representatives of the MILF, led by its chair, Murad Ebrahim, also attending the affair.

Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak, whose country served as a third-party facilitator, has also been invited to witness the event.

Deles said the signing is being held in the national capital, not in the MILF’s Camp Darapanan in Sultan Kudarat or elsewhere, to avoid “a logistic problem.”

“It’s easier for people to travel to Manila if you want people to come from all over,” she said. “Having it in Manila also makes it possible for other celebrations [elsewhere] to be held because when we beam it from Manila, then it reaches the entire country.”

PH’s global contribution

Chief government negotiator Miriam Coronel-Ferrer described the peace accord as the Philippines’ “global contribution to the pursuit of peace in our immediate neighborhood, the Southeast Asian region, and the rest of the world.”

It comes nine years after “the last momentous agreement of this kind,” the one signed between the Indonesian government and the Free Aceh Movement, she noted.

“Many other countries [that] face similar troubles are looking up to us to show the way or possible modalities by which they can also address their own domestic conflicts,” Ferrer said.

“Our experience, our mechanisms, our approaches have become a rich source of inspiration to these countries that remain challenged by different sources of domestic hostility,” she said…. see more

source: inquirer