MANILA (Mabuhay) — President Benigno Aquino III on Wednesday said he would not let those against the peace process succeed, a month after the deadly Mamasapano incident put peace talks with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) in peril.
“Kung magpapatalo sa mga kontra-kapayapaan, parang hinayaan na rin natin ang kaguluhan sa Mindanao… Hindi ko ito papayagan,” Aquino said during the 29th EDSA People Power commemoration.
The President also appealed for calm amid public outrage following the Mamasapano incident, which left 44 elite policemen dead.
“Sa harap ng video na nagpapakita ng karahasan, sa kabila ng galit sa ating puso, mas makapangyarihan pa rin ang pagtitiwala, malasakit, pag-ibig at kapayapaan,” Aquino said.
Aside from the 44 commandos, 18 MILF members and three civilians were also killed in the Mamasapano clash.
Congress suspended deliberations on the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law after the misencounter in Mamasapano but Aquino meeting with House leaders on Monday supposedly placed the passage of the bill back on track at least as far as the House of Representatives is concerned.
Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. the chairman of the House ad hoc committee on the BBL, Cagayan de Oro Rep. Rufus Rodriguez, said the draft could be tackled in the plenary by May 4.
The creation of a new Bangsamoro political entity through the BBL is the centerpiece of the peace agreement the government signed with the MILF in March 2014.
Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Tagle also called on Filipinos to shun war and take the path to peace on Wednesday during the commemoration of the 29th EDSA People Power Anniversary.
“The path of peace is to find a neighbor, a brother and a sister. When I don’t see anyone as an enemy, I don’t have to fight,” Tagle said during a Holy Mass to mark the EDSA People Power Anniversary.
The EDSA People Power commemoration came a month after the Mamasapano incident.
The Roman Catholic Church official said the People Power Revolution showed the world the “Filipino’s deep capacity to see a brother, a sister in an enemy.”
Aquino and Cabinet officials were present during the Holy Mass. (MNS)