MANILA, Philippines – Former President Fidel V. Ramos cautioned the incumbent administration not to pass judgment on the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, which was already being planned during the time of President Benigno Aquino III’s mother.
Ramos said the ARMM was established 23 years ago on September 2, 1996 during his term.
"It may be recalled that ARMM was created by the so-called Organic Act of 1989, which is a creation of former President Corazon Aquino, and with due respect to her it worked for awhile even during and after the 1996 final peace agreement that was forged during my time,” he said.
He said any government can pass different kinds of laws, depending on present circumstances. The success of the law will still depend on the implementation, he added.
When the ARMM was created, “there was a great joy in Mindanao and even in the whole of the Philippines,” Ramos said.
Nonetheless, he said he has nothing against the creation of the new political entity called "Bangsamoro" to replace the ARMM.
Ramos said he already knew about the latest framework of agreement since Office of the Presidential Adviser on Peace Process chief Teresita Deles has been updating him about the developments.
"Lets go for it! But let us make it work through the proper implementation of all of the agreements, commitments and promises of everybody on the three sides, that’s for Christians, Muslims and Lumads. And on the part of the government agencies, there is the Philippines, MILF and Malaysian government who provided facilitation,” Ramos stressed.
He noted that the peace agreement signed during his time was a “final” agreement.
“The people have been consulted [then]. I hope that with this latest framework of agreement, which will hopefully bring peace from the MNLF or MILF or may be both of them, the leadership will really sit down the line so that ordinary people of Mindanao will enjoy its benefits…Sana magtagumpay itong bagong initiative and successful plan of Pres. Aquino for the sake of the people of Mindanao,” he added.