We, the Philippine Council of Evangelical Churches, remain supportive and actively praying for the success of the peace negotiations between the Government of the Philippines (GPH) and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF). And yet, our hope for the future goes beyond politically negotiated agreements and beyond legislative acts of governments.
As a national network of Christian churches and organizations, our hope is ultimately based on a biblical view of the final justice and peace on earth when Christ, the Prince of Peace, will govern the world with genuine justice for all. In our worldview, the reality of this radical just-peace was initiated with the first coming of Jesus Christ and will be completed in His Second Coming. In this sense, our peacebuilding mission takes place at the intersection of the ‘already’ and the ‘not yet.’
It is this biblical hope that motivates us to call on our fellow Christians to repent, seek forgiveness, and correct our unjust actions, as well as to forgive and reconcile with the people who have treated us unjustly.
This hope also energizes us to strive for just-peace in the present, hence our support and advocacy for the ongoing peace process between the GPH and the MILF.
Because of our hope we say, “Peace is possible!” with much conviction and passion.
From this perspective—
:: We affirm our support for the 2012 Framework Agreement on the Bangsamoro and its four Annexes;
:: We continue to celebrate the signed 2014 Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro, praying that it will be an effective instrument to attain just-peace in Mindanao and in the whole Philippines;
:: We express our appreciation for both the GPH and MILF Peace Panels, who demonstrated their dedication and commitment to peace as the “only option” in this negotiation;
:: We applaud the Bangsamoro Transition Commission (BTC) for submitting a “mutually agreed draft” of the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) to the Office of the President;
:: We applaud His Excellency President Benigno Simeon Aquino III for certifying the BBL before the Legislative Branch as an urgent bill;
:: We continue to call on the Legislative Branch of our government to pass the BBL after careful, responsible examination and deliberation using the lenses of justice, righteousness, and peace for all;
:: We support the basic rights of the Indigenous People living within the Bangsamoro core territories, and we endorse their petitions for the inclusion of the following clause in the BBL: “Nothing in this basic law shall diminish or undermine any and all rights and benefits already possessed and enjoyed by Indigenous Peoples under the Constitution, statutes, customary laws, and international law.”
:: We call on the People of the Philippines to look at this peace process through the reconciling eyes of their spiritual hearts and minds.
And so, we pray for the completion of this peace process between the GPH and the MILF for the salaam-shalom of Mindanao and of the whole Philippines!
We deeply believe that peace is the will of God. May God’s will be done “on earth as it is in heaven.”
PCEC Board of Directors
January 6, 2015