Sultan of Brunei commits to work closely with PH on peace efforts
Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah of Brunei on Saturday pledged his continued support to the efforts of the Philippines in ensuring peace and stability.
“We will continue to support your government’s efforts in ensuring peace and stability through various initiatives in southern Philippines including our participation in the unification and modification assistance,” the sultan told President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. during a bilateral meeting on the sidelines of the 40th and 41st ASEAN Summit and Related Summits in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.
Marcos, for his part, recognized the role that the Brunei Sultanate played in the Mindanao peace process, which he said has been proceeding despite the roadblocks posed by the coronavirus pandemic.
Brunei is part of the International Monitoring Team and the independent decommissioning body in the peace process in the southern Philippines.
“I’m happy to be able to inform, Your Majesty, that the peace process is proceeding along. Although we have extended the Transition Authority for another three years simply because they were unable to do their job during the pandemic,” Marcos said.
“This process -- the negotiations between the Bangsamoro and our Muslim brothers and sisters began in 1976 -- I believe, is the fruition of that. And we are very happy," Marcos pointed out.
Marcos informed the Sultan that there will be a parliamentary election in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) in 2025, adding he looks forward to have a functioning autonomous government in the south, the result of many years of hard work.
In response, Sultan Bolkiah commendedMarcos for his tireless effort for the attainment of peace and prosperity in the BARMM.
Marcos also told Sultan Bolkiah that he is glad the Philippines was able to assist Brunei’s healthcare system, especially at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We are very proud that our healthcare workers, especially during the pandemic where worldwide they have been recognized as they are --- for their competence and for their sacrifices,” Marcos said. Presidential News Desk