The following is Secretary Jesus Dureza's tribute to Malaysian facilitator Tengku Abdul Ghafar Tengku Bin Mohamad.
"We heard the sad news about the sudden passing today of Malaysian peace facilitator Tengku Datu Abdul Ghafar Tengku Bin Mohamad who was a guiding star and leading light in our work for peace with the Bangsamoro.
Just a few weeks ago in Kuala Lumpur, we both warmly presided over a historic milestone with the launching of the implementation phase of the long-drawn Bangsamoro negotiations that spanned 17 years which, for the most part, he skillfully and adroitly marshaled to a successful conclusion.
The last time we met, Tengku was full of life and beaming with vigor seeing a breakthrough in what he was doing for years as a moving spirit. We both traded jovial and happy words and thoughts. He was a happy man raring to take his flight for a scheduled and long-awaited trip abroad, to enjoy what he described to me as his "last fling". I did not realize then that it was his way of saying farewell to a friend.
We mourn his passing as we also celebrate his valuable contributions to our continuing work for peace in the land. I know that he had to finish his task first and now that it is done, he begs leave and quietly passes into the night.
Goodbye, my friend Tengku. Your legacy will remain and will be well and long remembered."
Source: Philippine Information Agency