This is the moment that I have longed for. I was filled with joy seeing on TV and reading the news on the internet and newspapers about the signing of the framework for peace in Malacanang.
I'm glad that the MILF leadership and the government negotiators after a long process have been able to come up with this agreement. They have heard the clamor of the ordinary people who are tired of all the killings that have cost hundreds of thousands of lives.
Congratulations and thanks are due to the peace negotiators as well as the third-parties who brokered the process - the other countries, the civil society groups and ordinary citizens - Muslims, Lumads and Christians, Mindanaons and Filipinos alike.
Like many peace advocates, I have experienced a lot discouragements and frustrations in the past especially when expected breakthroughs that were sabotaged by extreme forces on both sides.
For over a decade I have always prayed and fasted for life and peace - while biking across the Philippines in 2000, around Mindanao in 2006 and around the Philippines in 2008 and running and walking across Spain in 2010 and across the Philippines in 2011.
Of course, there is still much to be done and support is still necessary for the final peace agreement will be signed and implemented fully.
The guns will be silent in Mindanao - but not fully. The armed conflict between the government forces and the CPP/NDF/NPA continues all over the country. There is still another peace process that has to be resumed - between the NDF and GPH. This process has been going on and off since 1987 - that's too long. I hope the government leaders and the CPP/NDF leaders will seriously listen to the clamor of the people. We want peace based on justice. We are fed up with all the killings and the never-ending war. Majority of the people do not suppor the "people's war" and the combatants in both sides are tired of the fighting ,while the leaders are aging. It is unrealistic and foolish to expect a military victory.
I continue to pray that the guns will totally be silent and peace will reign all over the Philippines.
Meanwhile, we give thanks to God for this recent achievement.