MANILA -- Malacanang denied lobbying efforts for President Benigno Aquino III to get nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize in connection with the government's peace deal with the leaders of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF).
Quoting Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process Teresita Quintos Deles, Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. clarified: “What we are only lobbying for is the passage of the Bangsamoro Basic Law.”
Militant group Bayan claimed that it has received “credible” information that the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP) is making the move in Norway in time for Aquino’s State of the Nation Address in July.
In a separate statement, Presidential Spokesperson Edwin Lacierda noted, however, that there may be groups who wish to nominate the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro (CAB), which is seen as a major development in ending the armed conflicts in Mindanao.
"During the Oslo Conference, Secretary Deles had occasion to meet Nobel Peace Prize winners, but there are no lobbying efforts. But please note that since Aceh, there has been no significant peace accord reached. Hence, it is possible that there are groups who do wish to nominate the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro. But certainly, OPAPP is not lobbying for it,” Lacierda said.
In its statement, Bayan said Aquino is highly unqualified for such an award, pointing out human rights violations under Aquino’s administration.
“The Nobel Peace Prize hits a new low with the nomination of Aquiino, who uses the US-instigated counter-insurgency program Oplan Bayanihan as a weapon of deception and repression. Human rights violations under Aquino’s four year-old regime include the militarization of peasant communities, 192 cases of extrajudicial killing, 21 cases of enforced disappearances and numerous illegal arrests, along with 400 political prisoners,” Bayan said.
Even the CAB should not qualify Aquino as a Nobel Peace Prize nominee, it added.
“Even the MILF peace pact does not make Aquino qualified as the agreement only gives a deceptive framework for peace under the current anti-people government. The pact is also contingent on the acts of the Philippine congress and is far from sealed,” Bayan said, noting the scuttled peace talks with the National Democratic Front.
“He has opted to arrest NDFP consultants and wage all-out war in many areas in Mindanao, where several battalions have been deployed against civilian populations, resulting in forced displacement. Aquino has refused the holding of formal and informal talks and has refused to address the socio-economic and political roots of the armed conflict. He instead demands an indefinite ceasefire as a precondition to the holding of any talks,” Bayan said.
The militant group said the Nobel Peace Prize has already become laughable when it was awarded to US President Barack Obama.
“The Nobel Peace Prize already suffered a low point when it was given to Obama who was responsible for launching overseas drone strikes that killed 2,400 civilians. Obama also launched a war of aggression against Libya and continues to threaten and undermine Syria and Iran. The Nobel Peace Prize would become even more laughable if Aquino is nominated. We say no to Noynoy’s nomination,” Bayan said.