Wisdom in New Philippine Peace Deal

The Philippines’ newest cardinal was among 1,000 guests who witnessed the peace agreement between the government and the country’s largest Muslim rebel group on March 27. Cardinal Orlando Quevedo’s archdiocese, Cotabato, in the southern island of Mindanao includes the main administrative camp for the rebels of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front. A number of ranking members of the front attended Oblate-run Notre Dame University, where the cardinal served as president. They have noted his long-standing empathy and understanding of the plight of the Muslims. Al Haj Murad Ebrahim, chairman of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front, said the pact finally restored the identity, powers and resources of all residents of Muslim-majority Mindanao, called “Bangsamoro.” Cardinal Quevedo told reporters that he admired the determination of negotiators for the rebels and the government and “also their wisdom because the Bangsamoro has finally achieved their own fundamental aspiration for self-determination.”

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