Thursday, October 11, 2012

Bangsamoro: A Dialogue of Unity

This does not mean the way ahead shall be easier for our nation, my brothers and sisters of the Promise, but it does mean we shall now have more of our own strength to overcome the difficulties that lie ahead of our peoples. Our unity does not make the straight path easier, it makes the journey safer... for all Filipinos.

For today we have resolved to walk the way of our nationhood - together this time - in the shelter of peace than in the shadow of war.

"Bangsamoro" shall be the dialogue of unity we shall now have with our Muslim brothers and sisters of the Promise within our one nation. It shall be a continuing dialogue - political, economic, cultural, and spiritual - but most of all, it shall be national. For within it we shall now endeavor to speak with one voice.

Within and between the nations there exists this vital dialogue (mostly invisible) composed of thought, time, discernment, and will - flowing like a river of whose tributaries lie at the heart of each of our citizens, a river that nourishes everything that is built and grows in our Republic. The freer the flow of this river, the mightier the reality of our peace together, the better our peace, the greater our prosperity - spiritual as well as material. 

(Material riches by themselves alone bring only misery and to claim to be spiritually rich without economic prosperity is a lie. To be truly rich, my nation, is to be rich indeed - in spirit and in time.)

Let us remember this, my brothers and sisters of the Promise - we who are raised from the diversity of the earth and joined by Providence Divine into one heart, one labor, one destiny:

We are a free people and so must continually exercise this liberty in order to temper it and make it strong, being very much aware of its costs and its inestimable value to the life of our Republic undertaking of Country.

Let us know that if we shall now choose to begin speaking with and to each other as citizens and human beings equally engaged in building a shelter of Country worthy of our common peace together as Filipinos...

If we shall now choose to become more than the words and become the essence of the nationhood inside of ourselves...

If we shall now choose to secede from the rule of War that have for so long denied from our generations (and from our world) the blessings of our own nationhood and enter into this new conversation of peace and national unity and human good will - together this time - we reclaim the hopes of the past...

And it shall serve us well, my people, for we too shall have been reclaimed by their memory. What we have lost in those terrible years of internecine conflict before this time would not have been in vain.

For we would have begun through this conversation to come alive to their enduring legacy.

No one falls back to the earth without uttering this one hope in the heart - a hope for better days, a hope for brighter times, a hope for kinder tomorrows... a hope for peace. Shall we, as a nation before God, abandon the remembrance of our dead to feed the hunger of War?

My people, my beloved people, the new age opens itself up only to those who are willing to enter into its embrace - my brothers and sisters of the Promise, and this - this seminal peace - is the way for our nation to enter into the new age.

Go and look at the darkness that we leave behind us - the depth and terribleness of it - and let us each ask ourselves today if there is any other way.

Let us reflect upon those tomorrows we, the people, commonly dream of - a future that is our right and our destiny - and let us seize the moment. Let us gather unto the gathering of our nation and heed the call of our peace - today is the day and now is the favorable season.

Let us allow ourselves to be joined together as one Country - being distinct in each person, family, and tribe, but never again distant in spirit - let us entrust ourselves to each other as citizens under the vigilance of Almighty God - let us work for this one outcome - that of unity - together this time

For our enduring compact is one of unity - in this compact we shall entrust to each other our everlasting good being called by Providence into one nation forever.

I have printed a copy of the Framework Agreement and shall be with you in prayer as well as in the labor to complete a comprehensive agreement by the end of this year, 2012.

Indeed, we have much work to do but I can see now that no longer - after this year - shall it be a labor of bitterest tears but a labor of hope.

My heartfelt thanks goes to the negotiating teams from the GPH and the MILF, the MNLF, and above all OPAPP and the Office of the President, as well as the tireless efforts of those nations - especially Malaysia - who have offered us the third element necessary in all peace processes - that of Peacemaker; a conqueror of heights.

May we all be blessed, may all be blessed by all - mabuhay po ang Bangsamoro at mabuhay po ang Pilipinas nating lahat: Shalom. Salaam. Peace - God bless us all.

The brightness of thy Banner undiminished in triumph waves,
the glory of thy stars and sun are lights that shall never fade.

Ang kislap ng watawat mo'y tagumpay na nagniningning,
ang bituin at araw niya'y kailanpama'y di magdidilim.