Our kailiyan Silvestre Afable (first from left; you can read our first blog entry about him here) resigned as chair of the government peace panel which is undertaking peace talks with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF). According to Newsbreak, Afable resigned because of “lack of support from the President“. Fr. Eliseo Mercado, a known Mindanao peace advocate, has been appointed to replace Afable.
Some reactions on Afable’s resignation:
Steve Rheault Kihara of the Canadian Embassy: “That is regrettable. He was a key factor in the very real progress so far and he is deeply respected by both sides as well as by the international community.”
ABS-CBN reporter Ricky Carandang: “Afable was perhaps the only member of the peace panel that was universally respected. The MILF, his colleagues in the cabinet who actually care about policy, the segment of the international community involved with the peace talks, the media, and even former colleagues who are now part of the broad oppsition to the Arroyo regime all respected Afable. Afable tried to resign around the time the Hyatt 10 quit, but had always been prevailed upon to stay. But not anymore.”
Sad, no? But it’s not surprising that GMA did not support his peace initiatives. She is, after all, only concerned of her survival. Good luck to our kailiyan as he returns to the private sector. Good luck also to Fr. Mercado, who we admire a lot, as he talks peace with our Muslim brothers and sisters. For the sake of peace in Mindanao, we hope that the good priest will be treated better than our kailiyan.