PGMA's peace initiatives will benefit next administration
Manila (13 May) -- Presidential Peace Adviser Secretary Anabelle Abaya expressed hopes that the next President will continue the ongoing peace efforts, as she cited the government's gains made by President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo in peace building efforts during her term.
"We will hand over the accomplishments that we have done in hope that they might help to move it forward in a more meaningful way," Abaya said during a news conference today in Malacaņang.
Although a comprehensive agreement with the rebel groups is still out of sight, Abaya said the peace talks with rebel groups are moving forward and ?almost close' to reaching substantial agreements.
Abaya said that since last year when she assumed office, government was able to reach agreements with rebel groups, among them the Moro Islamic Liberation Front, on civil protection mechanism rules as well as on rules on the elimination of landmines.
She said the government was able to end hostilities through the suspension of military operations (SOMO) and activated the Coordinating Committee on the Cessation of Hostilities (CCCH) and the Joint Action Group for criminal activities including kidnapping.
"We came up with agreements on the Moro Islamic Development Leadership Institute in order to give them ability to govern and lead," she said.
The most difficult part of the peace talks, she said, remains to be on issues concerning ancestral domain and governance.
"I don't believe we can come up with comprehensive agreement, but we are continuing to pursue other agreements that will build and move the peace process forward," Abaya said.
When asked about fears that the next administration might set aside some of the efforts already done, Abaya said: "I think it would be very dangerous for the next administration to undo, especially the agreements we have done particularly with the rebel groups.
"We have done this in all transparency that is why we have made a lot of effort in order to create consensus and get feedback from people," Abaya said. (PIA-MMIO) [top]