Ladies and gentlemen, good afternoon.
Prime Minister Najib, Prime Minister and Mrs. Najib, Senate President, Speaker of the House.
Later today, the Chairs of our Peace Panels will sign a Framework Agreement, which contains the roadmap and the principles that will guide the process towards a final political settlement with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front. This agreement is a landmark achievement in the quest for peace: it is one that pays tribute to the history, culture, and values of the peoples of Mindanao. And it will end decades of armed conflict in the region. There were many who thought this day would never come.
Yet today, it is evident that there are even more who thought it possible, who thought it a worthy goal, and who work tirelessly and selflessly to make this day—to make peace a reality.
The work they have done is emblematic of true public service—of true leadership. A true leader knows that if he does something for the benefit of humanity, it will redound to the benefit of all. In particular, this is what His Excellency Dato Sri Mohamad Najib bin Tun Abdul Razak has displayed in his unwavering support of our desire for peace. Recognizing that conflict in any part of the region runs against the interests of all, Prime Minister Najib assisted us in our efforts to build peace, which yields the stability, success and prosperity of all peoples. We are deeply grateful for his help which he extended despite considerable risk to himself, and today, he rightfully shares in our collective success.
We are beginning a new chapter in our history. Moving forward, it is incumbent on us to ensure that the efforts of the men and women who work for peace come to fruition. We all have to do our part to nurture peace, not just in the Philippines, but also in the global community.
With this, ladies and gentlemen, allow me to propose a toast:
To the trust, goodwill and hard work that all parties have displayed in working for this Framework Agreement;
To the shared history of the Malayan race, this shared triumph that we are celebrating today, and our shared aspirations for meaningful progress for the Southeast Asian peoples;
To the political vision and compassion characteristic of true leadership—a leadership that goes beyond itself in order to uplift the lives of all such as that which you see in Prime Minister Najib;
And to genuine and lasting peace for all Filipinos and all peoples. May I propose a toast!