Water Front Hotel, Davao City. February 24, 2017

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte, the first Mindanaoan President of the Republic, Secretary Jesus “Jess” Dureza, Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process,

Members of the Cabinet and other officials of Government, Local Governments, Excellences of the Diplomatic Corps, Members of the MILF Central Committee and fellow mujahedeen, Brothers from the MNLF, Traditional Leaders, Sectoral Leaders, CSO’s, Media, Distinguished Guests; Brothers, sisters, friends, ladies and gentlemen, Let me extend to you our fraternal greetings of peace,

His Excellency President Rodrigo Roa Duterte

Senate President Coco Pemintel

Speaker of the House Pantaleon Alvarez 

Secretary Jesus Dureza 

Other Members of the Cabinet, Senate and Congress

Members of my delegation from the MILF

Implementing Peace Panels of both GPH and MILF 

Excellencies, Brothers and Sisters, ladies and gentlemen,

Assalamu Alaykum Warhmatullahi Wabarakatuh and

Good Afternoon to all of you!

Negotiation is a part of man's everyday life

Today is a very auspicious day for all of us.  This day we formally launch the Implementing Peace Panels of the GPH and MILF to signal that the peace process is back on the formal track and the Parties are ready as ever to proceed with vigour, commitment, and determination. They are also ready to work as partners both in their supervisory responsibilities over the various mechanisms or infrastructures of the peace process as well as in the implementation of their bilateral or respective obligations set forth in signed agreements. I will deal with them in more details later in this statement.

The peace process in Mindanao, and perhaps elsewhere in the world, has been likened already to a journey. Prof. Paul D. Hutchcroft’s book, titled as “Mindanao: The Long Journey to Peace and Prosperity”, is obviously a work that also subscribes to that metaphor.

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