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PEACETALK:  Peace is not merely the absence of conflict but the presence of justice, opportunity, and understanding

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(Speech of Secretary Carlito Galvez, Presidential Adviser on Peace, Reconciliation and Unity, on the 10th commemoration of the signing of the 

Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro. The celebration was held in the MILF’s Camp Darapanan in Sultan Kudarat, Maguindanao del Norte on 27 March 2024). 

Let me first greet all women present, Happy International Women’s Month, particularly those who are with us all throughout the process of the Bangsamoro Peace Process over the years.

With the signing of the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro (CAB) a decade ago, the Government of the Philippines (GPH) and The Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) embarked on a historic journey that has brought us closer to our shared goal of fostering greater peace, development and stability in the region. 

The path that we have taken since the agreement was forged has dramatically transformed the security, socio-economic and socio-political landscape of the bangsamoro region and the rest of mindanao. It has paved the way for a future that is filled with aspiration, hope and the promise of a better life for the Bangsamoro people and all filipinos.

The establishment of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) has been a cornerstone achievement under the cab, providing a framework for governance that respects the diversity and rights of its people while fostering an environment conducive to economic growth, social equity, and peace.

Last January, we heard the report of the beloved Chief Minister Ahod Balawag Ebrahim on the significant milestones of the BARMM during its 5th founding anniversary. Secretary Anton Lagdameo, Jr. commended the BARMM for their continued progress and achievements. Our congratulations to our BARMM leadership, our different ministries and the Bangsamoro Transformation Authority. 

Speaking of the Bangsamoro Transition Authority, we are now more united with equitable representation from MILF leadership, the MNLF, the Indigenous People, youth, women and representation from the younger generation of forbearers of the Bangsamoro struggle.

The progress in the normalization process, the strengthening of democratic institutions, and the implementation of development programs aimed at uplifting the living conditions of our Bangsamoro brothers and sisters are all major accomplishments that have contributed to the normalization process for MILF combatants, their families and communities. 

The last ICCMN meeting on 19 march 2024 was convened to focus on the socio-economic, security and transitional justice which was attended by the Secretaries and Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries, Agrarian Reform, Minister Dr Mohammad Shuaid Yacob, was very successful including the commitment of the Department of Agriculture and National Irrigation Administration to irrigate 45,017 hectares of land covering Camp Abubakar, Omar and Rajamuda with P24.709 billion worth of national irrigation projects. 

The creation of the national Transitional Justice Commission is also moving forward to the Senate and hopefully, fully enacted soon similar to the concurrence of the Philippine Congress to the amnesty proclamation.

P180 million housing project is also allocated this year for Camp Bilal and Camp Abubakar in coordination with JTFCT and TFDCC. Pamana projects worth P1.7 billion farm to market roads, water system, roads, bridges and sustainable livelihood programs will also be implemented this year and hopefully another P5 billion DPWH projects next year.

As we look to the future, let us remember that peace is not merely the absence of conflict but the presence of justice, opportunity, and understanding. We must nurture and defend this peace, build bridges where walls once stood, and forge a path of progress that honors the sacrifices of Bangsamoro brothers and sisters to build a better and brighter tomorrow.

The 10th anniversary of the CAB is a celebration of what we have achieved and a reaffirmation of our pledge to continue building a future anchored on peace, prosperity, and solidarity for all. Together, as we stand united in purpose and action, we can ensure that this beacon of hope will shine brighter than ever.

Mabuhay ang CAB! Mabuhay ang prosesong pangkapayapaan sa Bangsamoro. 

Mabuhay ang buong sambayanang Pilipino!

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