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December 11 2012 | PHILIPPINES

Peace process for Mindanao, Southern Philippines

The Community of Sant'Egidio takes place in reconciliation process. A letter from President Aquino

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Mr. Benigno Aquino III -President of the Republic of the Philippines- has just addressed a personal and friendly letter to Marco Impagliazzo; he has expressed his gratitude to the Community of Sant'Egidio for its encouragement and its care for the Philippine people in the difficult path towards peace in Mindanao, the southern region of the archipelago with a Muslim majority.

On 15 October 2012 an important agreement for the implementation of the peace process has been signed. The process shall be finalized in year 2016. This path, however, is full of obstacles, basically due to different perspectives between the two main active groups in Mindanao, MILF and MNLF.

In order to reconcile differences that may negatively influence the implementation of the agreement, a meeting has took place in Bogor (Indonesia) during the last week of November. It was attended by all actors in the peace process: the Philippine Government, MILF and MNLF, the Indonesian Islamic Association “Muhammaddiyah” and the Community of Sant'Egidio.

During the two-days meeting,  foundations for the implementation of a lasting peace agreement were laid. They had to take into account the needs of all factions involved, not simply taking into account the most recent agreements, but also trying to reconstruct all the steps made in years of negotiations. Further meetings among all parts involved have been encouraged, in order to continue to walk on the path towards reconciliation.

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