By TENG LAUBAN DATU
Cotabato City Bureau Chief
COTABATO City — Japan International Cooperation Agency’s chief representative to the Philippines, Susumo Ito, has vowed for stronger and continuous partnership with the Philippines towards inclusive and sustainable peace and development in Mindanao in a forum “Way Forward: Beyond Peace in Mindanao” held in Manila early this week.
“Jica ensures the Philippine Government and the Filipino people of continuous support. Rest assured that trust and long-standing relations between Jica and the Philippines will remain for many more years,” he told to participants coming from various government agencies, civil society organizations, private sectors, and media partners.
“I’m sure that by working together we can have effective ways for sustainable and inclusive peace in Mindanao,” he added.
The forum, which was organized by Jica together with the Ateneo de Manila University and the Japanese Embassy, was attended by Undersecretary Diosita T. Andot of the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process.
In her speech, Andot underscored the administration’s vision of a strong nation where there is peace, justice, and responsible institutions.
She also stressed that a successful peace effort does not only end with a handshake or a signed agreement.
“It is on how soundly we have built its foundation through empowering the communities such that they do not just lead, determine, and manage their own affairs but are fully capacitated to influence the duty holders and culture bearers in sustaining their development initiatives,” she said.
Overall, the forum was able to tackle salient points on how the government, with its partners, can proactively embark on a more inclusive and sustainable peace and development in Mindanao.
Among which is the passage and implementation of the Bangsamoro Basic Law which, as it was agreed upon during discussions, is the realization of the signed peace agreements between the government and the Moro fronts. Also, its passage will pave way for the Bangsamoro to attain genuine autonomy and address the historical injustices that were committed against its people.