PCEC Statement on EDCA  
PCEC Welcomes the Final Stages of the Peace Negotiations in Mindanao  

PCEC Statement on EDCA

In view of the signing of the new Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (EDCA) between the Republic of the Philippines and the United States of America, we, the Philippine Council of Evangelical Churches, (PCEC) make the following declarations:

We worship the LORD, the Creator and Sustainer of the heavens and the earth and ruler over human history, including the history of the Republic of the Philippines. To the LORD God alone, who is our ultimate security, and to no one else, we must entrust the future of our people and our land.

We declare our supreme allegiance to Jesus Christ, the Lord of Lords, the King of Kings, and the Prince of Peace. Hence, our commitments, actions, and aspirations are subject to the Risen One who holds the universe and our nation together.

We depend on the power of the Holy Spirit who energizes the whole Creation, characterized by love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self- control. We submit our view of personal and national power to the Spirit's power.

Based on these convictions --

1. We affirm the friendship and the alliance between the Republic of the Philippines and the United States of America and other likeminded democratic countries. We will support this alliance as equal nations before God, with mutual respect, transparency, and accountability with each other. We will evaluate this alliance based on justice, peace, and righteousness.

2. We express our deep concerns and the serious objections raised by both friends and foes of this government based on constitutional, historical, and practical grounds.

Constitutionally, the agreement seems to contradict the simple and plain language of the constitution. While it is called an agreement (not a treaty that will require the approval of the Senate) it appears to have all the elements of a treaty.

Historically, the agreement reminds the concerned citizens of the few decades of partnership and friendship when many felt we were not treated as equal partners and true friends.

Practically, some serious questions about financial responsibility, true intention of the visiting forces and the help we will get in case of a regional conflict need more clarification.

3. We believe that this document should be able stand the test of thorough review, criticism and public debate. Therefore,

We recommend a non- partisan review of the EDCA by the Senate of the Philippines to examine whether or not it will truly serve the best interest of our nation. We also expect a possible petition of Lawyers groups, Concerned taxpayers, and other Non- government organizations to the Supreme Court about its constitutionality.

4. We trust and hope that our government leaders had the best interest of the nation in mind during the crafting and signing this document and they too will welcome any discussion in the public square.

We are aware that we are dealing with human beings and governments with conflicting interests and motives and that possible hidden agenda may be veiled beneath sweet words and great speeches.

But we look forward to a future when all creation will be redeemed, and the Lord Jesus will reign with justice and righteousness (Psalm 97:1; Rev 11:15). We proclaim with the ancient prophet -

He has told you, O man, what is good;
and what does the LORD require of you
but to do justice, and to love kindness,
and to walk humbly with your God? Micah 6:8

Signed: May 9, 2014

Philippine Council of Evangelical Churches
Board of Trustees

For more infomation: please contact Bishop Efraim M. Tendero at 9131655-57 or email at info@pceconline.org.





PCEC Welcomes the Final Stages of the Peace Negotiations in Mindanao

Prayerful statement of the Philippine Council of Evangelical Churches on the signing of the Annex on Normalization and the Addendum on Waters during the 43rd Exploratory Talks between the Government of the Philippines (GPH) and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) held last 25 January 2014 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia as the final parts of the Framework Agreement on the Bangsamoro

We praise God for bringing the GPH-MILF Peace Negotiations in this stage when all four Annexes to the Framework Agreement on the Bangsamoro (FAB) have been signed. Along with all the God-worshipping and peace-loving people in our country, we shout “Hallelujah!” as we give our support to this newly-signed agreement.

We congratulate the members of both the GPH and the MILF Peace Panels, past and present, for their faithfulness, diligence, and perseverance in pursuing this noble task of conflict transformation through peaceful negotiations. We specifically applaud the current members of both the GPH and the MILF Peace Panels who have demonstrated transparency, determination, and trustworthiness as they struggled with many difficult issues around the negotiating table.

We anticipate with much excitement the final signing in the next few weeks, when all aspects and annexes of the FAB are integrated into one Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro (CAB).

We pray that the drafting of the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) by the Transition Commission would reflect the just and peaceful aspirations of all the Moro people, all the various tribes among the Indigenous Peoples, as well as the Migrants in Mindanao. We also pray that this Bangsamoro Basic Law would pass the careful, responsible examination and deliberation in the House of Representatives using the lenses of justice, righteousness, and peace for all.

We pray that even now, those of us who truly seek genuine transformation towards the peace of the Moros, Indigenous Peoples, and Migrants in Mindanao, would start praying for, and plan on supporting, Moro-led political parties that reflect the justice-oriented and reconciling peace for Mindanao and the whole Philippines. We also pray that the 2016 election for the Bangsamoro Government would pave the way for a new political leadership among Muslims in Mindanao.

We call on our leaders in the Executive, Legislative, and Judiciary branches of the government to exemplify honor, transparency, justice, and compassion as we continue this negotiation and partnership until all aspects of the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro have been fully implemented.

We call on all those who claim to follow Jesus Christ—the Prince of Peace—to pray with the whole body of believers for the peace of our land as we journey together with our Muslim neighbors.

May we all experience genuine shalom-salaam within us and around us!

PCEC Board of Directors
January 30, 2014