NEW YORK – For being the first woman chief negotiator to sign a comprehensive peace agreement between the Philippine government and the rebel group Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), Miriam Coronel-Ferrer received the Hillary Rodham Clinton Award for Advancing Women in Peace and Security at Georgetown University last Tuesday.
She was at the Philippine Consulate General in New York over the weekend to explain the Mindanao peace process to Filipinos on the East Coast.
“Who did you think we were negotiating with? With angels? Not at all,” she said.
At a time when some sectors are questioning the sincerity of the MILF in pursuing peace, following the bloody Mamasapano incident, Coronel-Ferrer holds on to hope.
She said, “We were negotiating with a fully armed rebel organization who refused to be under the law for the longest time. Who refused to be even called themselves Filipino, but are now agreeing to be called Filipinos, to have Filipino citizenship. But their identity is being respected as Bangsamoro.”
During the second annual awards ceremony created by the Georgetown Institute for Women, Peace and Security (GIWPS), Clinton said that “peace and security are only possible when women have a seat at the table.”
“The emphasis on women playing leading roles in peace building, I think that’s very important. It’s a very strong agenda of Secretary Clinton,” Coronel-Ferrer said. “To see more women playing a more significant role, doing away with the glass ceiling that has prevented women from assuming key leader positions.”
But in her acceptance speech, Coronel-Ferrer admitted that the momentum towards peace in the South almost ground to a halt because of the Mamasapano tragedy that left about 70 Filipinos dead, including 44 Special Action Forces troops, last January.
She says the peace negotiations through the passage of the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) is bigger than Mamasapano.
BBL is a measure that seeks to create a new autonomous region in Mindanao – the Bangsamoro Region.
“We must not lose sight of the bigger picture. This is a bigger problem, a historical problem that needs resolution,” Coronel-Ferrer sad. “And certainly if we lose this chance, we might have to wait again for another generation to find closure to this conflict between the Philippine government and our Moro brothers and sisters.”
President Benigno Aquino III is expected to certify the proposed BBL as urgent by May.
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Am sorry madam, but your BBL will be a bigger headache by the Philippine govt in the future…
killery”s pro women is nothing but her own scam. any woman or anybody for that matter, believing the women propagandas of killery were all taken for a ride to nowhere. muslims with their sharia laws look at women as the lower class – “Clinton said that peace and security are only possible when women have a seat at the table.” indeed, this is one of many big, fat lies of killery, just to be the bosom buddies of foreign women, aimed for self popularity. killery giving recognitions / awards to women is all for show / tell, it is nothing, but to cover her fake concerns with women. so far, her BS talk to advance women are just that BS. women advancing in any career challenges are through individuals competitive skills. it has nothing to do with all the BS talks of killery consistently taking credits on all the chances she can grab / own, while too slimy to disown all her boo-boos. killery sure did con the medias liking her pinocchio style.