Close  

Peace advocates mourn death of Malaysian facilitator in gov’t-MILF talks

/ 09:27 PM September 02, 2016
Participants in the peace talks process between the Philippines government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), (front row L to R) Irene Santiago, Jesus Dureza, Pantaleon Alvarez, Johari Baharom, Tengku Abdul Ghafar Tengku Mohamed, Hasnah Hamid, Murad Ebrahim, Mohagher Iqbal and (back from R to L) Usec Diosta Andot, Said Sheik, Melanio Ulama, Abdulla Camlian, Syed Abhoud Lingga, Farinas, Hataman, Rolando Asuncion and Nabil A. Tan pose for pictures prior to their meeting at a hotel in Kuala Lumpur on August 13, 2016. The Philippines on August 13 restarted peace talks with the country's largest Muslim rebel group, the first under President Rodrigo Duterte aimed at ending decades of violence that has claimed tens of thousands of lives. / AFP PHOTO / MOHD RASFAN

Participants in the peace talks process between the Philippine government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front pose for pictures prior to their meeting at a hotel in Kuala Lumpur on Aug. 13. Malaysian diplomat Tengku Dato Abd Ghafar Tengku Mohamed (front row, fifth from left), who facilitated the final stretch of the negotiations which led to the forging of the landmark Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro, passed away on Friday. AFP

OZAMIZ CITY—Peace advocates are mourning the passing away Friday of Malaysian diplomat Tengku Dato Abd Ghafar Tengku Mohamed, who facilitated the final stretch of negotiations between the government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF).

The talks led to the forging of the landmark Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro (CAB).

ADVERTISEMENT

In a Facebook post, former presidential peace adviser Teresita Quintos-Deles said Tengku died at 9 a.m. on Friday due to heart failure.

His last act as facilitator was to preside, together with Presidential Peace Adviser Jesus Dureza, in the launching in Kuala Lumpur last Aug. 13 of the implementing phase of the Bangsamoro peace agreements.

The last document he signed for the Bangsamoro peace process was the joint statement issued by the parties on Aug. 14.

Tengku helped pick up the pieces of the Bangsamoro peace process that was shattered by then President Joseph Estrada’s all-out war in 2000; he was instrumental in bringing back a reluctant MILF to the negotiating table in 2001, this time with the facilitation of Malaysia.

In April 2011, Tengku took over from another high-ranking Malaysian official, Datuk Othman Abdul Razak, the facilitation of the negotiations.

In a statement, Dureza described Tengku as “a guiding star and leading light in our work for peace with the Bangsamoro.”

Dureza cited how Tengku “skillfully and adroitly marshalled to a successful conclusion” the peace negotiations with the MILF which took all of 17 years since 1997.

“We mourn his passing as we also celebrate his valuable contributions to our continuing work for peace in the land. I know that he had to finish his task first and now that it is done, he begs leave and quietly passes into the night,” Dureza added.

Deles said Tengku “played a crucial role in rebuilding the trust between the two parties and among the partners of the process.”

ADVERTISEMENT

She added that Tengku was “always conscious and respectful of each party’s bottomline, while helping the parties to find ways to bridge the divides and navigate and expand the common grounds for consensus.”

“Under his watch, the ceasefire held and grew robust mechanisms, even following the tragedy in Mamasapano,” Deles said.

In another Facebook post, former government panel secretariat head Iona Jalijali said that more than being the facilitator of the negotiations, Tengku has “through the years … [become] like an uncle or grandfather to me and many others involved in the talks.”

“I regret not being able to say ‘thank you’ or ‘goodbye.’ I will miss his wisdom and quiet strength, and even his incessant teasing. May his soul rest in eternal peace,” Jalijali added.

Read Next
LATEST STORIES
MOST READ
Don't miss out on the latest news and information.
View comments

Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.

TAGS: Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro, Iona Jalijali, Jesus Dureza, Moro Islamic Liberation Front, Tengku Dato Abd Ghafar Tengku Mohamed, Teresita Quintos-Deles
For feedback, complaints, or inquiries, contact us.
lifestyle

Bicolandia’s heroes live again in Ibalong Festival

September 23, 2019 04:50 AM

lifestyle

CCP’s golden anniversary is now a fashion statement

September 23, 2019 04:49 AM

sports

SMB rally falls short

September 23, 2019 04:48 AM

sports

Kingly debut

September 23, 2019 04:48 AM



© Copyright 1997-2019 INQUIRER.net | All Rights Reserved

We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By continuing, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more, please click this link.