Posted on November 17, 2015
Buluan, Maguindanao – Despite the uncertainty of Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) being passed by congress, Maguindanao political leaders gathered in a peace dialogue on November 10, 2015 at BBGM Restaurant, Buluan, Maguindanao where they issued a manifesto calling for the passage of a BBL that faithfully complies with the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro (CAB) and not the one that will reduce the powers and authority of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM).
“We are all living witnesses to how our people – men, women, children and the elderly – lost lives and properties, experienced disruption of economic activities and suffered indignity in the evacuation centers brought about by the conflict in Mindanao”, the leaders said in their manifesto.
“We strongly believe that the BBL submitted by the Office of the President (OP) to the Lower House and the Senate on September 10 last year, can address various forms of injustices committed against the Bangsamoro and, thus, can bring forth dignified peace, meaningful development, unity and reconciliation in the entire country,” they said in their statement.
The peace dialogue was participated by local government units from the provincial level to the municipal level.
Prof. Miriam Coronel-Ferrer, Chair of the Government of the Philippines (GPH) Peace Panel, representatives from the Bangsamoro Transition Commission (BTC), and Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) were invited to the said dialogue.
The Asia Foundation (TAF) Senior Program Officer Noraida Chio challenged the local government units of Maguindanao to be part of the solution and urged them to work together and unite to make the successful peace process a legacy and gift to the future generation of Bangsamoro.
“Wala pong isang Bangsamoro ang hindi nananaginip na sana anytime of the day, makakalakad tayo sa daan ng walang takot. Na sana makita natin ng lahat ng bata ay makapag-aral. Na sana lahat ng mga kabatang Bangsamoro ay makakapagtapos ng pag-aaral. Na sana lahat tayo sa Bangsamoro ay uunlad at walang maiiwan,” she said.
Ferrer explained that all efforts had been made and are still being done to successfully pursue the GPH-MILF peace process. She also urged the local government unit leaders in Maguindanao to show everyone what the Bangsamoro can do.
“Ayaw nating magkamali kase kelangan nating ipakita sa buong mundo na ang Bangsamoro ay may kakayahan basta mabigyan ng sapat na political autonomy at sapat na resources. Na kaya nyang paunlarin ang Bangsamoro, kaya nyang paunlarin ang buong Pilipinas dahil ang kaunlaran ng Bangsamoro ay kaunlaran ng buong Pilipinas. Ang tagumpay ng Bangsamoro ay tagumpay ng bawat Pilipino,” Ferrer said.
“BBL or No BBL or Bad BBL, we need to be strong. We need to consolidate the Bangsamoro people. We should rely on our strength and unity of our people. We need to build on the political capacity of our people. We, as a Bangsamoro, we need to strengthen our movement towards self-determination,” said BTC Chair Mohagher Iqbal in a statement read on his behalf by BTC Legal Consultant Atty. Sha Elijah Dumama Alba. Continue reading