Representative Karlo Alexei Nograles of the National Unity Party (NUP) has expressed optimism over the recent signing of the power sharing agreement between the government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), saying that the deal is a “huge step” towards achieving peace and economic development in Mindanao.
Nograles, who represents Davao city’s first district, called on sectors who plan to oppose the power sharing annex on constitutional grounds to “give peace a chance,” reminding them that the final document would still be subject to rigid scrutiny by the Congress.
He noted that the process would also involve a mandatory referendum vote by people in areas to be affected by the final agreement reached between the government and the MILF.
“We strongly support the efforts of both sides to reach meaningful and lasting peace in the country. There is no perfect system. What is important is the greater good and welfare of the entire Filipino nation,” Nograles said.
“Let us give peace a chance without infringing the Constitution. The proposed peace draft will still pass the scrutiny of Congress which would either ratify or reject the final document,” the Mindanao lawmaker stressed.
The annex outlines how power will be shared between the central government and the Bangsamoro political entity being proposed by the MILF.
It includes the type of powers "reserved" for the central government, those "exclusive" to the Bangsamoro and "concurrent" powers between the two. The agreement provides for a ministerial form of government for the new political entity in Mindanao.
Nograles advised critics of the agreement to not only wait for the final details of the power sharing deal but the entire peace pact itself before making any pre-judgments.
He said “justice and equal opportunities as well as common aspirations” should be allowed to prevail in any peace negotiation, especially in the case of his fellow Mindanaoans who are “tired of bloodshed and fighting among brother Filipinos.”
“We seek no other alternative but just and lasting peace,” said Nograles.