Let us join in prayers and hope as we wish the best for the members of the Transition Commission whose critical work shall begin today. The days ahead for this Commission will be long and filled with challenges and hardships but also, we are confident, with much wisdom and courage.


The Transition Commission (or TransCom) whose members convene for the first time this morning constitutes a multidisciplinary, multi-ethnic, inter-generational, and, yes, adequately gender-balanced, team of experts and practitioners whose experience, integrity and commitment will be our guide and our gift to the future of peace we all want and desire.  As the Commission proceeds with its important task, we anticipate to see it working more and more not as a partitioned body representing the Philippine Government on one side and the MILF on the other side but as one collegial body which shall be able to craft inclusive frames and processes and draw out multiple stakeholders' perspectives and sentiments in the shaping of participatory and empowering social and political institutions in the future Bangsamoro. In pursuing its task, the Commissioners can expect the full support of the government as deemed proper by the Commission.


As the TransCom gets down to work, we shall continue with our collective efforts to build peace on the ground. We will keep building it in as many remote villages and communities possible, as the panels work to finish the remaining agenda on the peace table. We will not cease in our steps forward, on the table and on the ground, because, as our President, P.Noy, has said with regard to this peace track, we do not want to pass on an unfinished business to the next Administration.  We are in a race against time.  Without setting rigid deadlines, we have a timetable and we are serious about it.


We will do our best to lay a solid foundation within this administration’s term of office in the hope that the gains from our efforts shall have become irreversible by the time we leave. It is our common dream to give rise to a generation that has never known war.  It is our common dream to see a real break from a history of armed conflicts happen within our lifetime.


Every moment provides us with an opportunity to bring peace to our people. We are at the dawn of a new era; the stretch of possibilities lie fully before us. We will need to have a resolve that will carry us through the challenging times, a spirit that allows us to imagine a future different from the past, and the courage to believe that peace is truly within our reach.


Good morning and peace be with us all.