From the Manila Standard Today (Jul 23): Fort Magsaysay’s new chief
A new commander has been installed in the Armed Forces’ 7th Infantry Division based in Fort Magsaysay, Nueva Ecija.
Brigadier General Hernando Delfin Carmelo Iriberri took oath as the 22nd commanding officer of the post replacing Major General Gregorio Pio Catapang Jr. who was promoted as the new chief of AFP Northern Luzon Command headquartered in Camp Servillano Aquino in San Miguel, Tarlac City.
Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin and Army Chief Lieutenant General Noel Coballes led the turn-over ceremony.
Iriberri is a member of the Philippine Military Academy Class of 1983. He served as Senior Military Assistant to Gazmin and Chief of the Unified Command Staff of the Southern Luzon Command.
In a statement recently issued, the group said, “We laud the panels’ steadfast resolve to achieve a compromise regarding such an important issue.”
PCID, a non-government, non-profit organization of peace advocates welcomes the signing of the annex which they described as “a step forward towards achieving lasting peace in Mindanao.”
“We hope that this annex will strengthen the foundation for genuine fiscal autonomy for the Bangsamoro,” the statement continues.
The group believes that the signing of the annex will boost the people’s optimism that a final peace agreement is within reach, this year.
PCID also believes that the talks on the remaining annexes, power-sharing and normalization, shall face challenges.
“The signing of the Annex on Revenue Generation and Wealth Sharing is a good sign that both panels are committed towards achieving a just and fair agreement,” PCID believes.
PCID, however, sees that the annex is just an initial step towards fiscal autonomy and economic development in the Bangsamoro.
It considers fiscal autonomy as an integral part of genuine autonomy but it also recognizes that achieving this would require fiscal responsibility from the people and their officials.
PCID recommends that in order to fully actualize the visions in this annex, the Bangsamoro and National Governments must capacitate local officials to adequately implement the taxation provisions in what would be the Bangsamoro Basic Law.
The group also hopes that the Transition Commission will develop the appropriate implementing and monitoring mechanisms as part of the Basic Law.
“There is also a need to educate the people on how these taxes will facilitate development in their region, and to train them to expect transparency and accountability from their government,” the statement continues.
“Lastly, we assert the primacy of the peace process and ask both Panels to continue fast-tracking the remaining Annexes of the negotiations.”
Assuring their willingness to help, the PCID also asks the Transition Commission to conduct parallel efforts in preparing for the draft Bangsamoro Basic Law.
PCID is one of the civil society groups which has deep concern on the welfare of the Bangsamoro people all over the Philippines.
It has been instrumental in convening the National Ulama Conference of the Philippines, nationwide organization of male Muslim religious scholars and its female counterpart, the Noorus Salam (Light of Peace).
PCID gained international recognitions for its earnest devotion on peace advocacy initiatives particularly promoting the culture of understanding and respect among the different faiths in the country.
The group is led by a staunch advocate of peace and women’s rights, Amina Rasul-Bernardo. She is currently member of the Board of Directors of Mindanao Development Authority.