Bishop: Expression of faith should be in PH-MILF deal

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Oct 08 2012 12:28 PM | Updated as of Oct 08 2012 08:28 PM

MANILA, Philippines - Isabela de Basilan Bishop Martin Jumaod urged the government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front to include in their agreement an individual's freedom expressing his or her faith.

In an interview with Radio Veritas, Jumaod welcomed the creation of the new political entity called “Bangsamoro”, which will replace what President Benigno Aquino III described as the "failed experiment" of Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao.

“Ang sa akin, always that religion must be respected and kailangan there should be freedom in terms of the expression of faith and also respect for the dignity of every individual, it should not favor one group of people but it must be inclusive to everybody,” Jumaod said.

He added any final agreement should always undergo public discussions and a plebiscite.

“It is always a welcome news when it comes to giving peace to Mindanao, but my point will always be that the basis of the agreement will always be the Constitution of the Republic of the Philippines, and any agreement should be submitted to the people for plebiscite in order that the people will decide, ito ang posisyon natin sa isyu na ito,” he said.

President Aquino said the “Bangsamoro” shall be guided by a governing law, as anchored on a plebiscite and election in its area of jurisdiction.