On the Threshold of Genuine Peace
Genuine, lasting and long-wanted peace for and by the people of Mindanao, most especially the Bangsamoros, is now within our reach and grasp and possible in our present generation. All patriotic Bangsamoros and Mindanaoans justifiably and joyfully celebrate, therefore, the forging and signing of the Framework Agreement on the Bangsamoro (FAB) in Malaysia and Manila, respectively.
The Agreement has been described as a roadmap to this new, unfolding chapter of peace. Let us light that road as we hand in hand journey its way with our sincere commitment and cooperation to help realize its vision and objectives, to reach its golden destination.
We urge especially our fellow religious and lay leaders to likewise throw their support behind the Agreement, including our associates and collaborators in the big family of civil society in Mindanao. The peace talks have been an important, integral part of our social agenda for the past many years, and before us now stands the most crucial moments in our joint concern and unrelenting effort. Peace is in our hands, as we often say.
We urge, too, the few but significant factions and disgruntled parties, and traditional or professional critics, to lay aside their fears and prejudices and – as we too love to say – give this peace a chance. No political agreement is perfect on paper, until we make it perfect and most of all fair and fulfilling to all by dint of our deed.
We urge also all peace-loving citizens and all other stakeholders , including Muslims, Christians and indigenous communities – to persevere in actively working for peace. Love peace, talk peace, do peace, pray peace. Goodwill and platitudes are not enough. Peace is the highest prize, and because it is so it is also the toughest of tasks. But with all of us working together, with the Framework Agreement showing the high way, the golden prize will soon be ours as a gift of God and reward for our tears.
PROF. ALI T. YACUB REV. PAULINO ERSANDO
Muslim Convenor Evangelicals Convenor
REV. FR. ANGEL CALVO, CMF
R. Catholic Convenor