COTABATO CITY – Mohagher Iqbal, Chairman of the Peace Implementing Panel of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) had successfully launch his book entitled “Negotiating Peace: An Insider’s Perspective to the Bangsamoros’ Struggle for Self-Determination” on Sunday, December 3 at the Al Nor Convention Center, Cotabato City.
The book is a compilation of his speeches from 2005 to 2018. As a member of the MILF peace negotiating panel, Iqbal collected his speeches for 13 years and arranged them chronologically.
“Negotiating Peace” is the product of Chair Iqbal efforts. This book captures the historic events that shaped the peace talks, as well as the insights and perspectives of the MILF in its engagement with the Philippine government to pursue the Bangsamoros’ aspirations.
The Ambassador and the delegation of European Union to the Philippines H.E. Franz Jessen, the Archbishop Emiritus of Cotabato Orlando B. Quevedo, OMI, DD, Bangsamoro Mufti Sheik Abuhuraira Abdulrahman Udasan, the MILF peace mechanism, INGOS, CSO, and peace groups graced the occasion.
Dr. Emma Leslie, Executive Director of the CPCS said in the foreword of the book, “In my limited outsider’s understanding of Islam, Chairman Mohagher Iqbal is the personification of the Islamic concept of ‘sabr’. If Sabr means to remain steadfast, and to keep the faith and struggle for good, even when faced with opposition, setbacks, unexpected challenges and undesirable results, than this surely sums up his character.”
“The book launch is timely as it comes ahead of the plebiscite to decide on the ratification of the Bangsamoro Organic Law (BOL),” said the Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies (CPCS) who published the book.
Iqbal in his speech during the program said “One may misconstrue this publication as nothing more than a vanity project. While it is true that I prepared and delivered these speeches, my words were guided by the principles invoked by the leadership of the Moro Islamic Liberation front from time we engaged in the peace process with the Philippine government.”
He finally said “let me ask this timely but odd question to one and sundry: Are we aware of the consequence if the BOL is not ratified? Simply stated, the answer is, there is no law, we will be back to status quo, which is solidly a state of uncertainty. Do we want our people to be at the mercy of tyranny of uncertainty?”
The event is not only a celebration of the milestones in the peace process but equally an opportunity to call for collective support to the next steps in the implementation of the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro (CAB).
There is also similar activity in Zamboanga City which will be held at Garden Orchid Hotel on December 12 and on December 15 at Marawi City to be held at College of Hotel and Restaurant Management (CHARM), Mindanao State University.