Cotabato City – Women Leaders who are gathered for the Peace Dialogue with Women Leaders on May 28, 2015 at Alnor Convention Center, Cotabato City, issued a statement calling the Congress, both the Senate and the House of Representatives, to immediately pass the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) that will give them opportunities to live in just and dignified peace and security.
“We cry foul for not getting what we actually deserve for so long when what we legitimately demand is full respect to our inherent right to self-determination,” they said in the statement.
“We, the women leaders who are gathered today for the Peace Dialogue with Women Leaders, strongly appeal to our legislators – both in the Senate and Congress – not to turn a blind eye to the sufferings we experience whenever conflicts arise in our communities. We are compelled to flee from our homes and stay in the evacuation centers and suffer hunger and various illnesses. Our economic activities are interrupted. Our children are forced to leave schools,” they emphasized in the statement.
“We believe that the passage of the draft BBL will give us opportunities to live in just and dignified peace and security,” they added.
They call the Philippine legislators to immediately pass a BBL that is neither diluted nor watered down but must comply with the mutually agreed upon by the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) and the Government of the Philippines (GPH) and submitted by the Office of the President (OP) to Congress.
“A BBL worth its name must not lost sight of the Framework Agreement on the Bangsamoro (FAB) and the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro (CAB). And the would-be Bangsamoro Government must not be less autonomous than the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) that it seeks to replace,” they further said in the statement.
The Peace Dialogue was participated by women leaders composed of tri-people such as Bangsamoro, Indigenous People and Settlers coming from the different people’s organizations, civil society organizations, peace and development institutions, cooperatives, and local government units in Maguindanao.
Moro Women Development and Cultural Center, Inc (MWDECC) spearheaded the conduct of the said activity together with Mindanao Action for Peace and Development Initiatives, Inc. (MAPAD); Kadtabanga Foundation for Peace and Development Advocates, Inc. (KFPDAI), and Bangsamoro Center for Justpeace in the Philippines, Inc. (BCJP) in partnership with Australian Government and The Asia Foundation.