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His excellency President Benigno Simeon Aquino III, foreign dignitaries,

Presidential Peace Adviser Teresita Quintos-Deles, esteemed members
of the GPH peace panel, brothers in the MILF Peace Panel, heads and
representatives of different NGOs and partner donor organizations,
members of the Bangsamoro Transition Commission, honored guests,
friends, Assalamu Allaykum and good afternoon.

I am thankful for the opportunity to be delivering this message on the
occasion of the Book Launch of the Compilation of Opening Speeches in
relation to the Bangsamoro peace process, initiated and organized by
the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process, in our
common pursuit to educate and spread the word of peace in the context
of the Bangsamoro.

The significance of this effort is more so emphasized as we actively
engage the Bangsamoro people, especially the youth, to know more and
learn about the intensity, acrimony, and triumphs of the peace talks,
which took 17 years in the making. Realistically, it is the next generation
that will most benefit from this undertaking, which all the more makes
it imperative that we internalize the history of the Bangsamoro struggle
and the political objectives that we are fighting for.

The messages written and speeches spoken in the various occasions of
the Bangsamoro peace process reflected the gamut of human emotions,
as well as the social and political experiences prevailing at the time. The
themes in all of these writings were drawn from the unique and
remarkable experiences that best depicted the situation at that moment,
and the status of the peace process.

To illustrate, when President Aquino spoke about the Framework
Agreement on the Bangsamoro in October of 2012, he said, of his
affirmation and acceptance of Bangsamoro, that:

This agreement creates a new political entity, and it
deserves a name that symbolizes and honors the struggles
of our forebears in Mindanao, and celebrates the history

and character of that part of our nation. That name will be

Imagine the mixed emotions that the Peace Panels, the MILF, and those
who have been deeply involved in the struggle felt at that moment. We
saw it as a triumphant quantum leap from history. The recognition of
our Bangsamoro identity has been officially memorialized in a signed
document, and it was a beginning of a new dawn for our people.

That is the effect of words.

Words, indeed, are the most powerful weapon. They can ignite a fire
within the minds of those who hear them. They can move people to
action. They can dictate the trajectory of events that follow. Words can
fool or rule.

At any rate, the hard work put into this project comprising of speeches,
words and thoughts of various speakers is worthy of commendation.
This could be a powerful tool towards educating the readers and
observers of the Bangsamoro peace process. EDUCATION IS KEY. If
people understand the context of this whole process, appreciate it and
work for it, then I would like to believe that we have partially won the

May this compilation serve its noble purposes of providing the readers a
peek behind the minds of the main actors in the peace process, impart
knowledge and encourage support for the continuity and success of the
Bangsamoro peace process.

Thank you and wassalam.

Message of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) Chairman Al Haj
Murad Ebrahim At the Book Launch (Compilation of Opening Speeches)
Malacaan Palace, June 9, 2016
Read by: Mohagher M. Iqbal, Chairman of MILF Peace Panel

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