Thursday, August 14, 2008

Arroyo wants lasting reign, not lasting peace in Mindanao

InPeace Mindanao
Press Release

August 14, 2008

The Initiatives for Peace in Mindanao (InPeace) questions and condemns in the strongest terms President Arroyo's proposal for charter change which is meant to extend her stay in power beyond 2010, rather than solve the Moro problem in Mindanao.

The group questions the sincerity of Mrs. Arroyo who said that charter change will solve the issue of Muslim autonomy in Mindanao. We are rather persuaded that with Arroyo's past conducts in pushing for cha-cha, that she is just exploiting this issue to justify its own interest, which is to create a federal form of government and have Arroyo elected as prime minister or as head of state.

She wants lasting reign and lasting power, not lasting peace. Arroyo has clearly used the Memorandum of Agreement on Ancestral Domain (MOA-AD) as a trojan horse to subvert the Senate as a stronghold of the political opposition and open the floodgates for charter change. Arroyo's peace rhetorics have been unmasked anew. She has employed duplicity in the Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GRP)'s negotiations with the MILF to cater to her own desire for political perpetuation.

This proposal for cha-cha would never bring peace in Mindanao. This is peddled by this same government that fails its negotiations with the MILF. This would be the same government that has been engaged in an all-out war policy against the Moro people. Ultimately, this will be the same government responsible for aggravating the country into critical level of poverty, economic and political hardship, due to corruption and repression.

It is a big shame that Arroyo and her cohorts are trampling the noble aspirations of the Mindanao peoples for just and lasting peace in order to further her self-interest. We deplore this move by Arroyo, and we call on our Mindanao legislators to hear the voice of the people in Mindanao: We want authentic peace, not charter change.

We continue to support the right to self determination of the Bangsamoro people. The political maneuverings of the Arroyo government has shown that it will not be the Bangsamoro who will benefit from the windfall of gains from the peace negotiations. Arroyo has once more trampled upon the Bangsamoro people's aspiration for genuine autonomy. She will go down in history as the President who is caught red-handed for undermining the GRP-MILF peace process to pursue her interest. #

for Reference: Atty.Beverly Selim Musnia

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