Posted on June 8, 2015
As members of the House of Representatives started plenary deliberations on the Bangsamoro Basic Law earlier this week, women leaders who gathered for the Peace Dialogue with Women Leaders at the Alnor Convention Center here in Cotabato City issued a statement calling for the immediate passage of the legislative measure that will establish a more politically and financially empowered Bangsamoro entity in place of the existing Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao.
“A BBL worth its name.” That was how they described the BBL they wanted passed by both houses of Congress.
“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,” the women leaders coming from civil society organizations, peace and development institutions, people’s organizations, peace and development institutions, cooperatives, and local government units bewailed in their statement.
“We… 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,” they said.
“We are compelled to flee from our homes and stay in evacuation centers and suffer hunger and other illnesses. Our economic activities are interrupted. Our children are forced to leave schools,” they added.
The women leaders are not the only ones who say this. Data gathered by various organizations bear out their claims. A Thomson Reuters Foundation report says the Mindanao conflict has killed tens of thousands of people and, since 2000, displaced 3.5 million people, citing the Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre (IDMC). Continue reading