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Dr. Bula

Message of IDPs of Marawi at the solidarity “Walk for Peace” in Marawi

Posted on 23 February 2018 by cbcs_mike

(This is the message delivered by Dr. Dalomabi Lao Bula in behalf of the Marawi Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) at the start of solidarity “Walk for Peace” sponsored by CBCS in coordination with the MSU Systems on February 19, 2018 and as part of the activity in the three-day “Bangsamoro CSO Leaders Summit” also held at the Marawi Resort of the said area.)

Dr. Bula

Bismillahir rahmanir rahiim.

Assalamo alaikom wa rahmatolahi wa barakatoho.

Greetings of peace. May all of us who are gathered today, with the help of Allah (swt) feel the real essence of peace and be able to internalize its meaning so that each one of us will love each other as brothers or sisters.
I am very grateful to Allah (swt) that I was given a very limited time to air few of the many mixed feelings of the IDPs, na kanilang kinikimkim sa kanilang mga puso, haunting them for almost nine months.

Tayo po ay nagtipon-tipon ngayon dahil sa kapayapaan at dahil dito, we are asking the powers that be, to give us IDPs peace of mind by giving us concrete, acceptable, culture sensitive and immediate solutions to our lamentations.

Ilang IDPs po, galing sa ‘ground zero’ ang naghihinagpis, because of the inhuman devastation of Marawi City, nang dahil sa air strike. There are thousands of us. We are still silently crying in pain, in the corners of others’ houses as bakwit in Iligan and CDO (Cagayan de Oro City). Paglabas namin, iba ang tingin nila sa amin, masasama kaming tao, di lang nakakatakot kundi terorista! We feel so degraded because even the hospitalization assistance ay pinutol mula nong Nov. 26 dahil wala nang budget ang DOH (Department of Health) para sa aming mga IDPs. Paano kami magkakaroon ng inner peace, saan kami kukuha ng hugot? Binabangongot kami ng Marawi Siege!

We read on the newspapers, see on TV screen, hear over the radio, not only millions but billions of money coming in for the rehabilitation and reconstruction of Marawi. Where are the billions spent? NFA rice, low-quality sardines, coffee and noodles? for 9 months?

Alhamdulillah! nakabalik na yung mga taga ‘cleared areas’ at patuloy na tumatanggap ng pinagsawaang sardinas. Pero kami sa ‘ground zero’, iniiyakan namin na makita man lang ang aming mga bahay at makuha kung mayroon pang natitirang gamit, ay ipinagkakait pa sa amin. But the irony of it, nauna pa ang outsiders makapasok kaysa sa amin, like investors, donors, politicians, showbiz people, and others – all in the name of business and money, ang sakit! It is safe for them to enter ‘ground zero’, but unsafe for the IDPs kasi mayroon pang mga posibling sumabog. What a glaring manifestation, to my mind, of discrimination, inequality and human rights violation.

The NEDA Comprehensive Plan for the rehabilitation and reconstruction of Marawi will be presented for consultation very soon. When the plan was planned, kasama po ba kami sa pagplano para sa aming mga IDPs? Makakapagsalita ba at pakikinggan kaming IDPs sa consultation? Magkano kaya kung mayron man ang assistance para sa winasak na mga kabahayan namin, na kasamang gumuho ang aming mga pangarap para sa kinabukasan ng aming mga anak? There is a plan for shelter to relocation sites, meaning, pinapaalis kami sa mga lupa na kinatatayuan ng aming mga bahay. What a pity!

The 400M budget for the military camp which had its ground breaking last Jan. 30 on a hill in Brgy. Kapantaran, is not at all a solution to violent extremism. The call of the hour now is for us, the IDPs or Bakwit, to be returned to our homes. Why not allocate those millions to our devastated dwellings, give us, and not loan, livelihood assistance and we will do the rest for our pagbangon, with the guidance of Allah (swt). Why does the government talk about land tittles, land use, and getting military reservations, when we lived in our lands since birth? Land titling can wait, let the IDPs go back and rebuild their shuttered dreams and settle whatever obligations they have to the government, later. Bakit sa katagal-tagal ng panahon ngayon lang ito hinalungkat? It is untimely and inhuman! Public structures ang uunahin. Who will make use of those structures kung walang tao? Our wounds are still fresh and bleeding. Give us justice and equal treatment with the so-called majority and peace will reign through out the land, In Sha Allah. Hindi namin ginusto ang Marawi Siege. Hindi makatao ang pagpapasabog sa aming mga kabahayan. The use of 500 and 200 pounder bombs ay masyadong nakakapagtaka! Ang pagka flatten ng 24 barangays ay pinipilit kong intindihin, kung bakit? What made the bombs necessary?

How can we have peace of mind with all of those unanswered questions? Peace does not only mean the absence of conflict or armed struggle. Each one of us should feel peace within so that peace will radiate outside us.

Sa mga LGUs (local government units) po namin, you abandoned us during the Siege, specifically sa first few weeks. Wala kayong nagawa para di kami lumikas, para di namin iwan ang aming mga kabahayan. Wala kaming narinig na kahit ano pa man. We had no one to run to sa kasagsagan ng Siege. But look at MSU, we salute Pres. Macaayong for a job well-done. Agad-agad nakapagplano sila. Na mobilize ni Pres. Macaayong ang mga tauhan niya. They talked with the students, faculty and staff, and the residents, not to leave the campus. Naki pag-coordinate siya sa military, the MSU officials were visible, talking with everyone in the campus. Hindi nila pinabayaan o iniwan ang kanilang constituents, kaya ito, balik sa normal ang MSU. We talk about peace and the BBL Bangsamoro Basic Law) kasi andito pa ang MSU. Bakit di yon nagawa sa down town Marawi para hindi naging war zone?

Sa Congress at Senate, napag-usapan at pinag-uusapan yong mga biktima ng drugs, o napapatay dahil sa drugs. Ang Marawi Siege ba, na nabugbug ng human rights violation ay naipaabot ninyo sa Congress at Senate? Wala kaming naging boses at masandalan. Kawawang Meranaw!
Hindi tayo nagsisisihan, binabalikan lang ang mga pangyayari para tayo ay maka pulot ng lessons na siyang maging daan para magkaroon ng kapayapaan, In Shaa Allah.

I speak for the IDPs, who are Muslims, whose religion is Islam which means peace. We detest being associated with terrorist for we will never be terrorists because we are peace-loving lake-dwellers.
Let me end with this very short poem which I was able to compose sa kasagsagan ng Siege.

MERANAW AKO
Meranaw ako
Ingarang ko a Ranaw.
So Ranaw a rangkamanis,
A piyagiyasaano Allah (swt)
Sa pimbarang a pageper.
Ranaw a paramanis o inged,
A lama lama o Meranaw.
Dii isusungowa, dii itutukawa,
Dii pagalataan, dii kuyakuyaan
O dalem o pagilidan.
Meranaw ako.
Pimbiat ko maratabat ko inged go bangensa,
Kambilangataw go kambayorantang ko Allah,
Tindeg ko agama nago rugo,
A da sangkop ko ridoay.
Meranaw ako.
Pagalongan ko kalilintad go kambilangataw,
Rawaten ko pimbarang a ilmo.
Saken so Meranaw sa Ranaw
A kena o ba terorista.
Meranaw ako.
Ingoma ka kalombayan,
A panginam o Meranaw,
Di ipangonot so kabinasa
O paninggalan a inged.

CBCS Secretariat

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STATEMENT OF APPEAL FOR BBL

Posted on 08 February 2018 by cbcs_mike

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We are a group of Youth of Poblacion 7, Cotabato City who struggle to avoid being victimized by drug proliferation or lured by the rising extremisms in our midst especially the youth.

Related to the above, we are doing our level best to divert our attention through engaging into sports and other valuable works. However, we can never tell how long we can withstand this test, if this long lingering armed conflict surrounding us is not stopped the soonest.

So we are pinning our last hope in the passing into law of the BTC drafted BBL now being espoused by Honoorable Senator Jose Miguel Zubiri under Senate Bill 1646.

Finally. WE appeal for:

1. Senator Jose Miguel Zubiri and his colleagues in the House of Senate to stand with BTC drafted BBL to honour the gains of more than four decades of negotiation between the Government and the Bangsamoro Fronts.

2. Consider the significant and values of HB 1646 as certified by President Rodrigo Roa Duterte as “Urgent Bill”. Our apprehension is that the flow seems runs as ordinary bill and we fear that time will run out just as what happened to the old BBL under 16th Congress.

3. For the House of Senate to make SB1646 as their legacy to the long suffering of Bangsamoro especially to the youth who are “the hope of the fatherland” as one Filipino hero once said.

We sincerely thanked you Senator Miguel Zubiri for championing the BTC drafted BBL, may God guide and Bless you.
Signed this 24th day of January 2018 at Poblacion 7, Cotabaot City.

ORIGINAL COPY SIGNED BY:
1. Rajib A. Kulat
2. Roseman A. Ismael
3. Nehanie A. Matanog
4. Raissah Queen A. Kulat
5. Basher G. Bernan
6. Leyster A. Kulat
7. Noryasin Aser A. Matanog
8. Brayan R. Tula
9. Abdawi W. Dopo Jr.
10. Yhong A. Matanog
11. Abdul Maula M. Pendong
12. Raina Icawalo
13. Salama Glang Mastura
14. Aljayn Ajeg
15. Anwar B. Sionga
16. Ebrahim Paguital
17. Abdul Nasser Silongan
18. AL-Basher K. Odin
19. Mohammed Tayaan
20. Marham A. Kulat
21. Arafi S. Arab
22. Jabar M. Alimanan
23. Alladi Zailon

By CBCS Secretariat

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ZAMPEN INTERFAITH GROUP CONDUCTED PRESSCONFERENCE ON THE PASSAGE OF THE NEW BBL

Posted on 07 February 2018 by cbcs_mike

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At least three leaders of the sponsoring organizations of the Interfaith Peace Assembly were gathered together with eight (8) media people from RMN-DXPR, CNN Philippines, Net 25, ITVN-8,City Press Bureau and Pagadian GMA-News for a Press Conference held at the office of the National Commission on Muslim Filipinos(NCMF) on December 10, 2017. Mr. Ferrer Marcaban, of CBCS also joined the activity. The Press Conference was facilitated by Ms. Leah Agonoy of the Pagadian City Press Bureau. It formally started with an opening statements of the panelist, Sultan Maguid Mruhom, the Interfaith Convener, Kiram Cayda the BM-PUSH Convener and Ust. Nuroddin Mantolino, the President, Union of Youth Organization in Zamboanga Peninsula. They greeted everyone and expressed their gratitudefor realizing this Press Conference. They said that “we had just successfully conducted an Interfaith Peace Assembly in Support of the Passage of the New BBL, held in Rotonda, Pagadian this morning, from 8:00 – 12: 00“. The different speakers expressed their support for the passage of the new BBL. It was followed by an open forum.

The media entity representatives’ questions were ranging from: Differences between the old and new Bangsamaoro Basic Law (BBL), assurance from President Duterte’s passing of BBL and what will happen if Federalism comes first?

The resource persons responded correspondingly, implying that the major differences is that the new BBL is more comprehensive since major stakeholders in the new Bangsamoro Transition Commission (BTC) is expanded to include representations of the MNLF Jikiri-Sema wing, the Indigenous Peoples, the Christian Settlers and others.

It is also a convergence of both the old BBL and the major provisions of the MNLF 1996 Final Peace agreement.

On the president’s effort for the passing of BBL into law, there are numerous statements he expressed in every major occasion on the importance of passing the BBL as means of “correcting historical injustices” committed against the Bangsamoro People. In fact, Datu Kiram Cayda head of BM-PUSH for Zamboanga Peninsula stressed that: “the president certified the BBL as ‘Urgent Bill’ in Congress”.

Dealing on the notion of federalism comes first before BBL, Sultan Maguid Marohom expalained, that basing of the Roadmap for Peace and Development of Duterte Administration there are two tracks or pathways. “These are (1) Track I – Legislative Track which is now being followed by BBL and (2) Track II – Federalism Track, which will start by completing the 25 member Consultative Committee as envisioned by the President under Executive Order No.10. But these have not started yet, since Congress is proposing a “Constituent Assembly” and the opposition is advancing a “Constitutional Convention”. Any of the three that will be agreed will be tasked to draft a proposed Federal Constitution. But Sultan Maguid stressed that: “anyway BBL and federalism are both flagship program of the president and there is no complication.”

Ustadz Nuroddin Mantolino, speaking in behalf the youth of Zamboanga Peninsula and responding to the assurance of peace once BBL is passed into law, quipped: “No one can assure peace except God, However, BBL is the best option to peace. For one it is product of more than four decades of problem solving peace negotiations between the Bangsamoro fronts and the governments of the Philippines.”

After more questions and answers, the Press Conference was ended with a closing statement of the panelists: Sultan Maguid Maruhom, Kiram Cayda and Ust. Nuroddin Mantolino.

By: MOHAIYA S. PUA
CBCS, Area Coordinator for
Zamboanga Peninsula

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FORUM FOR PEACE AND PVE GENSAN

CBCS conducted forum on peace and violent extremism in Gensan

Posted on 07 February 2018 by cbcs_mike

General Santos City. January 30, 2018. The Consortium of Bangsamoro Civil Society (CBCS), in partnership with the Muslim Student Association of Ramon Magsaysay Memorial College (MSA-RMMC), conducted yesterday a forum titled “Promoting Peace and Preventing Violent Extremism in the Bangsamoro: Conversation with Students”. Mr. Moammar Amal, MSA president, assisted CBCS in the logistics preparation and in the overall conduct of the forum.

FORUM FOR PEACE AND PVE GENSAN

Seventy one (71) students from various colleges and universities here in General Santos City participated in the forum. Majority of them (51) came from RMMC. The rest came from MSU (11), three (3) from STI, three (3) from Buayan NHS (3) and one (1) from Golden State College.
The forum speaker, retired Prof. Rufa C. Guiam, is a former professor at the Mindanao State University here in General Santos City. In addition to her university functions, Prof. Guiam has also written and published several articles, and delivered lectures in several international conferences.

Prof. Guiam spoke on two major topics: “The roots, “drivers” (push or pull), and strategies for addressing violent extremism” and “Salient features of the BBL and on Federalism”. She started her talk by testing the knowledge of the student participants on the concept of terrorism. One answer from a student participant caught the attention of the speaker: “Terrorism is a crime committed by a Muslim.”

Having noticed the students’ lack of basic knowledge about terrorism, the speaker decided to clarify and elaborate on the basic concepts of radicalization, violent extremism, and terrorism. She said radicalization is the process by which individuals are introduced to an overtly ideological message and belief system that encourages movement from moderate, mainstream beliefs towards extreme views. But she emphasized that radicalism should not be equated with terrorism, and that people who hold radical views do not necessarily become terrorists or violent extremist.

On the other hand, violent extremism is viewed as “encouraging, condoning, justifying, or supporting the commission of a violent act to achieve political, ideological, religious, social, or economic goals”.

According to the UN Statement on the Plan of Action against Terrorism, terrorism has four common elements as follows: a) threat or use of violence; b) political objective, i.e. the desire to change the status quo; c) intention to spread fear by committing spectacular public acts (could be heinous or just bluffing actions), and d) intention to target civilians.

The speaker emphasized that terrorists are made, not born. She said there are factors that drive individuals, either pulling or pushing them to violent extremism. She enumerated seven socio-political conditions that may drive individuals into violent extremism, as follows:
1. Denial of basic political rights and civil liberties
2. Harsh and brutal rule that entails gross violations of human rights
3. Widespread corruption and perceived immunity for well-connected elites
4. Poorly governed, weak and failing states, ungoverned areas
5. Protracted violent conflicts
6. Presence of repressive regimes widely perceived as illegitimate or bankrupt; absence of strong and legal opposition
7. Provision of previous support to VE movements by governments that once relied on those movements to serve their short term political or strategic interests.

In addressing the phenomenon of violent extremism, Prof. Guiam said the Unite Nations (UN) has identified the following areas where action/activities designed to address the issue of peace and violent extremism could be undertaken:
1. Dialogue and Conflict Prevention
2. Strengthening Good Governance, Human Rights and the Rule of Law
3. Engaging Communities
4. Empowering Youth
5. Gender Equality and Empowering Women
6. Education, Skills Development and Employment Facilitation
7. Strategic Communications, the Internet and Social Media

In her second talk, Prof. Guiam discussed briefly the salient features of the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) as well as on a comparison between Federalism and Unitary System.

By Ebs Sandigan
SOCSKSARGEN Area Coordinator
CBCS

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THE MULTI-DIMENSIONAL ROOTS OF VIOLENT EXTREMISM

Posted on 12 January 2018 by cbcs_mike

Fifty three multi-sectoral Bangsamoro leaders converged in a dialogue-consultation on “Promoting Peace and Preventing Violent Extremisms” with a theme: “Promoting peace is Preventing Extremism” held at Estosan Hotel, Cotabato City on January 9-11, 2018.

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The activity is a Consortium of Bangsamoro Civil Society (CBCS) sponsored with a support from United Nations Development Program (UNDP) – Mindanao Office as their contribution in understanding the two critical but contrasting issues – peace processes and the rise of violent extremism.

In an aim to understand deeply the issue of rising violent extremisms, four prominent Resource Speakers were invited to shed light and present the issue from different lenses. Prof. Rufa Guiam spoke of: “Structural Roots of Extremism in the Bangsamoro from Transitional Justice Lens”.

From the Resource Person’s presentation, she stressed the Four Pillars of Transitional Justice as (1) right to know (the truth) (2) the right to justice as to the case of the Bangsamoro addressing the historical and human rights violations (3) the right to reparation and (4) right to guarantee of non-recurrence. And that without resolving or neglect of the above transitional justice, violent conflict will become a “vicious cycle” in any particular group of people or nations much more in the Bangsamoro context. Thus becomes a potential push-factor for a rising number of people joining the violent extremists’ ideologies.

On the same occasion Dr. Danda Juanday, Administrative Officer of the Local Government of Cotabato City in his opening and welcome message revealed that in their own initiatives in order to understand the root of violent extremism, discredit Islam as the reasons of peoples joining the extremists groups. He emphasized that majority of the communities involved in the studies pointed out that: (1) socio-economic reasons and (2) political dissatisfaction as drivers of peoples joining the group, however the biggest of them all he said is “people are becoming irritants and impatient over long-lingering non-resolution of the Bangsamoro problem.”

The idea was substantiated by Prof. Guiam who stressed that: “Only 1% among the many reasons why people join the violent extremists points to Islam as the reason”, according to some global studies.

She further quoted Dr. Garry LaFree and Bill Braniff who explained in their course that: “..various widely accepted statements about terrorism which were not based on empirical or scientific evidence and, in fact, had been proven wrong by research based on the Global Terrorist Database.” This is to refute the widely propagated issues that terrorisms and violent extremism always been connected with Islam or to Muslims the world-over.

By Mike Kulat

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Marawi City IDP Leaders Decried Militarization and Urge Passage into Law of BBL

Posted on 04 January 2018 by cbcs_mike

Prominent Internally Displaced Person (IDP) leaders of the Marawi City carnage mostly women after narrating their different heartbreaking experiences, suffering and anxieties ended with a synchronized assertion for demilitarization of Marawi City and instead work for the immediate passage into law of the Bangsamoro Transition Commission’s (BTC) drafted Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL), now filed in the House of Representatives as HB6475. They further, emphasized that the passage into law of the BBL and eventually the implementation of Islamic laws are the only ultimate solution, so that the Marawi Crisis will not be repeated again as well as in all other conflict-affected areas in Mindanao.

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The different stories was told during the activity called “Listening Process” with IDP Community Leaders held at the Ayala Resort, Mindanao State University, Marawi City last December 19, 2017 sponsored by the Consortium of Bangsamoro Civil Society (CBCS) base in Cotabato City, headed by its Chairperson Mr. Guiamel Alim.

The burst of emotions came after an overview was given by Mike Kulat, Senior Program Officer of CBCS stressing that: “the process maybe new to some but necessary in order to document the actual experiences and sufferings of the victims of war”. Reminding that for the last two decades of lingering armed conflicts in the Moro dominated areas, there were occurring wars at least every two years and there were no concrete documentation on them.

In the past, what where counted were numbers of massive displacements, numbers of killed on both sides of protagonists, captured war materials including civilian lives in some cases. On this the Marawi Crisis, victims are lucky enough as there were much talks of “Marawi Recovery Programs” manifested by the existence of “Bangon Marawi Groups, a ten billion pesos President’s commitment and many others. Nevertheless, the usual recovery programs deals on; Buiding economy and businesses establish schools, rebuild hospitals and infrastructures. So the question is: Can these physical reconstruction and recovery fixed and remedy the root-cause of the problem? Can it cure traumatic and mental anguish due to lost of kit and kin? What about destruction of relationships, social dislocation and political disintegration? He added that these were the importance of the listening Process and from the victims’ perspective, documents their perceived alternative solutions and recommendation in order to avoid repetition of the same traumatic experiences not only in Marawi City but in the whole of Mindanao.

One unique story of a sudden war in Marawi was revealed by a Christian teacher happened to be trapped by the war while on seminar at the Noramis Convention Hall in Lilod Madaya. She disclosed that prior to the May 23 start of war, there were already talks of armed group’s threats of occupying Marawi City but disregarded by many including her. Even on the following day as sporadic firings were heard in Amai Pakpak Hospital and Dansalan College, she thought it was a simple rido as usual and will subside soon after authorities intervened.

A day after,” the burst of firings became intense until the first time I saw Omar (Maute) with a Yakan speaking fellow” she started. And continued: “She commanded all of us to go down of the hall, counted us and ask some questions. Then he ordered us to stay intact and come back to us later and then left for supervision of their troops.” And added that: “This was the time that the first thing that came into my mind was the Zamboanga Siege” and fear and anxiety, she stressed. After they left, the trapped groups were able to contact with Barangay Officials who instructed them to leave the place immediately towards Amai Pakpak Hospital before the armed men go back.

However, before we reached the place, “we met several patients escaping and told us that the hospital was already occupied by the Maute-ISIS groups”. So they redirected their route towards Matampay. Upon reaching the place, the teacher went back to Noramis since a number of her fellow Christians were left in the area who were new in Marawi that came from the municipalities of Bumbaran and Wa-o and do not know what to do.

When she delivered her fellow Christians to safer place only then she remembered to look for her seven month old baby left with her family. On the occasion of escaping she had to climbed to the closed gate of the Noramis in order to enter several times. At one time he met an escaping man and cried for help and she said: “this was the first time I saw how a man cries in times of severe crisis.”

Many different but similar stories were told of war experiences but were all ended up in taking the Marawi incident as hard lessons for self-reformation and transformation. However, the matter could only be effective and sustained by complementary structural mechanism through passage into law of the BTC darted BBL and returning back to Islam as a guiding principle in the day-to-day lives of not only the Maranaws but the Bangsamoro people as a whole.

Johary Ditucalan Ayo
CBCS Area Coordinator for Lanao

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CSO LEADERS RECALLS EXPERIENCES ON MARAWI CRISIS

Posted on 04 January 2018 by cbcs_mike

Twenty eight leaders of Moro civil society organizations (CSOs) converged in an activity called “Listening Process” conducted by the Consortium of Bangsamoro Civil Society (CBCS) in an aim to validate, document and fuse the multi-dimensional issues that came out after the infamous Marawi City Siege, that resulted in a tremendous destructions both physical and emotional aspects. The activity was held in Iligan City on December 18, 2017.

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Guiamel Alim in his welcome and overview of the event stressed that: “the process may sound to some as new process but a timely and long neglected process” especially on the case of the Bangsamoro who had been on armed-conflict for so long. He stressed that the process is a data-gathering and documentation that allows a “free-flowing story telling” without rebuttal.

He emphasized that the Marawi victims of crisis are lucky enough as the talks of “reconstruction, rehabilitations and recovery programs” had been talk of the town and becomes flavour of the day not only by the Meranaws but even on national scene. The usual reconstructions and recovery programs deals on: (1) Buiding economy and businesses (2) Establish schools (3) Rebuild hospitals, infrastructures (4) New laws, [parliament ... federalisms]. However, he quipped: “can the physical recovery fix the structural roots of the Marawi crisis and Bangsamoro problem as whole?” This is the main focus of the activity: “that the result will be used as an instrument in correcting historical injustices” against the Bangsamoro and identify both short term and long term solutions to recurring problems.

The participants different but identical personal experiences on the Marawi catastrophe ranging from deaths of close kins, caring of olds and the sickly during the sudden eruption of the unexpected war, destructions of houses and lost of properties and valuables. The narrations were usually interrupted with sobs as signs of deep traumatic effects of the war that remains in the heart of every victim.
On the issue of who’s to be blamed in the disastrous event, the participants expressed different outlooks as some blames the Maute-ISIS connections, some to blame the Local Government units (LGUs), the national government and the military. Other have it that Marawi incident is a government “pre-meditated” plans because of the prior threats were allowed to thrive. However, they all ended in their narration as one, that the matter was a shared responsibility including themselves and the whole people of Marawi City and its surrounding communities.

For one the Maute-ISIS connection had been in their midst for several years starting in Butig and Piagapo municipalities including the Marawi City occupation were public knowledge. The matter was known to the community peoples, the LGUs up to national level particularly Department of National Defence but no concrete actions were taken. The reason why Defence Secretary Delfin Lorenzana once revealed that there was miscalculation and underestimation of the capacity of the Maute-ISIS to do the threat. The narrators all admitted that there was a top-to-bottom neglect of a forthcoming danger at that time.

Majority of the narrators pointed out that the long term solutions to the problem is to unite in supporting the passage of the BTC drafted Bangsamoro Basic law, that will redound to self-reformation, advancing the Bagsamoro identity to include going back to Islamic systems of life. In so doing, using Marawi incident as hard lessons learned, if not the catastrophe will just be a vicious-cycle not only in Marawi City but in all other Bangsamoro areas.

Johary Ditucalan Ayo
CBCS Area Coordinator for Lanao

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PASSAGE OF UNDILUTED BBL, A HOPE OF BRIGHTER FUTURE FOR THE YOUTH

Posted on 15 December 2017 by cbcs_mike

The call of the youth to Congress was expressed by Ustadz Nuroddin Mantolino, Chairman of the Union of Youth Organizations of Zamboanga Peninsula at an “Interfaith Peace Assembly in Support for the Passage of the new BBL” held at Pagadian City on December 10, 2017. The assembly was attended by no less than two thousand participants coming from the municipalities of Labangan, Dumalinao, Dinas, Dimataling, Lapuyan and Tukuran in the province of Zamboanga del Sur and Pagadian City.

Ustadz Nuroddin mantolino whie reading youth manifesto  in an INTERFAITH PEACE ASSEMBLY held at Pagadian City on December 10, 2017.

Ustadz Nuroddin Mantolino whie reading youth manifesto in an INTERFAITH PEACE ASSEMBLY In support to BBL held at Pagadian City on December 10, 2017.

In their official statement they pinned their hope of “having a conducive environment to live in” for the youth only if the new BBL is enacted” into law without watering it down. But that status “would only be achieved by resolving the Bangsamoro Questions through the immediate passage and enactment into law of the newly crafted Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) drafted by the expanded Bangsamoro Transition Commission (BTC).”

He also stressed that the future of any country is largely dependent on the capacity and strength of the youth just as one of the Philippine Hero said: “youth is the hope of our motherland” and this is true in our country as well as to the youth of Zamboanga Peninsula.

They also believed that the passage into law of the new BBL as the only “most viable tool for healing and reconciliation of the long standing Bangsamoro Issues” that would redound to “more progressive and brighter future for our generation” or the youth of today and tomorrow.

He further emphasized that “the only thing that could bring about genuine smile to the Bangsamoro People” that will come from the bottom of their heart is enactment of undiluted BBL.”

In closing, Ustadz Nuroddin called on Congress and invoked on God’s intervention to listen to the pleadings of the youth to be given the privilege to have “a progressive and brighter future through the success of the BBL.”

By Mohaiya Pua
CBCS Area Coordinator for
Zamboanga Peninsula

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INTERFAITH PEACE ASSEMBLY-PAGADIAN

INTERFAITH GROUP OF ZAMBOANGA PENINSULA INITIATED ASSEMBLY IN SUPPORT TO BANGSAMORO BASIC LAW

Posted on 14 December 2017 by cbcs_mike

More than two thousand people assembled at the Rotonda, Pagadian City last Sunday in an activity called “Interfaith Peace Assembly in Support to the Bangsamoro Basic Law” which was organized by coalition of groups headed by the Interfaith Forum for Solidarity and Peace represented by its Executive Secretary Ms Faye Mae Reyes; the Consortium of Bangsamoro Civil Society (CBCS) represented by Mike Kulat and Ms Mohaiya Pua – Senior Program Officer and Area Coordinator for Zamboanga Peninsula respectively and the Ummah fii Salaam headed by its Executive Director Sultan Maguid Marohom.

INTERFAITH PEACE ASSEMBLY-PAGADIAN

The activity was made possible in close coordination and collaboration with the Bangsamoro Platform for Unity, Solidarity and Harmony (BM-PUSH) headed by Datu Kiram Cayda, its Clustered Province Convener, the Labangan Cultural Heritage led by Tarhata Daligdigan and the MILF Provincial Committee Officers of Zamboanga Peninsula headed by Naguib Mantolino.

The main resource person of the assembly was BTC Commissioner Atty. Raissa Jajurie who expounded that the BBL is a product of the negotiation between the government and the Bangsamoro. She said that the importance of the BBL is: “that it deals with allowing the Bangsamoro to run self-governance under the realm of the Philippine government.” In other words, “it is a genuine autonomy. Autonomy with substantial fiscal autonomy and Exclusive Power which is clearly delineated from that of the Reserved Power of the Central Government”, she added.

She also stressed that: “The importance of BBL is that it is an implementation of the Comprehensive Agreement on Bangsamoro which mandates the establishment of governance that suits the culture, ways of lives and beliefs of its constituencies”.

While Commissioner Jajurie clearly presented the significance of BBL, on the other hand she appealed to the participants to continue working hard for the passage of the bill in Congress and much work is still to be done.

“We need to express our sentiments and to be heard by Congress. We need to be present in every public hearings and consultations and assert our views and appeal to Congress for early passage of the BTC drafted BBL as soon as possible. We need to work hard not only in heart and mind but let’s shout our assertion for the passage of BBL” Commissioner Jajurie emphasized.

While in Lower House or House of Representatives BBL is already all set, the main problem is in the Upper House or House of Senate, since BTC drafted BBL was not yet filed. There was a BBL filed by Senate President Koko Pimentel but that is his own version.

This was followed by commitment and support of multi-sectoral leaders. Among those who have given their statement support were: Sheikh Esmael Kalalagan, the acclaimed Mufti of Zamboanga Peninsula, Mr Duma Mascud of the Mindanao Alliance for Peace, Mr. Nasser Pulindao of the coalition called #SignnewBBL and representative of Christian Communities of the Interfaith Group as well as the women group of Zamboanga Peninsula.

As last speaker, the Union of Youth Organization of Zamboanga Peninsula president Ustadz Nuroddin Mantolino read before the crowd their Statement of Support for the Bangsamoro Basic Law.

By Ms Mohaiya Pua

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POLSCIE STUDENTS ON BBL-HR EXTREMISM. 3jpg

SCHOOLS, COLLEGES AND UNIVERSITIES IN ZAMBOANGA PENINSULA CONDUCTED FORUM FOR PEACE

Posted on 14 December 2017 by cbcs_mike

More than a hundred political science students of at least nine colleges and universities of Zamboanga Peninsula converged in an activity dubbed as “Forum on Human Rights, Violent Extremism and Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL)” in celebrations of Mindanao Week of Peace 2017.

POLSCIE STUDENTS ON BBL-HR EXTREMISM. 3jpg

The activity was sponsored by Inter-Faith Forum for Peace represented by its Executive Secretary Ms Faye Mae Reyes in partnership with SCC-Kadugtong Community Involvement, Amnesty International, SCC Polisays and Artes Liberales held at Diocesan Pastoral Center, Balangasan, Pagadian City on December 9, 2017.

On the three major topics, Dr. Nora Agustero, vice president for Academic Affairs of SCC in her welcome remarks said that the theme and issues of the peace forum are timely and “heavy issues and topics” that will deal with a “social justices”.

Sultan Maguid Marohom, Executive Director of Ummah Fii Salam expounded the rise of violent extremists from global setting down to local level. He also gave its corresponding causes and effects of such extremism as that of the recent Marawi Crisis.

On Human Rights and International Humanitarian Laws was delivered by Human Rights Lawyer Atty. Kenny Sabellano who spoke of the basic rights of every individual person even in time of state emergencies or martial laws.

The resource person on updates on the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) was Mr. Mike Kulat, Senior Program Officer of Consortium of Bangsamoro Civil Society (CBCS) based in Cotabato City briefly described that: “BBL is giving social justices to the centuries old clamour of the Bangsamoro people for their right to self-determination”. And added that on matter of human rights he said: “the biggest human rights violation for the Bangsamoro is the wholesale and collective continuing denial by the government of their right to self-determination which will hopefully be addressed by the BBL.” The right to self-determination aspired by the Bangsamoro are within the ambits of International Human Rights and Humanitarian Laws and even by the domestic laws.

In conclusion, he appealed to the youth and students in supporting the current Government, MILF, MNLF and the broad stakeholders’ initiatives for peaceful political settlement of the Bangsamoro Question once and for all.

He also sighted among others our leaders pronouncements as: Former Congressman Ali Pangalian Balindong in his campaign materials that: “The BBL is our last Chance for Peace.” No less than President Duterte in his departure speech to Japan on October 29 emphasized on BBL that: “If we do not act on it expeditiously, I think we are headed for trouble. I will urge Congress to fast track it because the Moro rebels are getting impatient.”

No less than MILF 1st Vice Chairman Ghazali Jaafar stressed in a Press Conference with International Media held on September 22, 2017 stressed that: “If all political initiatives are exhausted, we will take up arms again.”

These statements coming from top leaders of both the government and non-state actors coupled with evident rise of extremisms are enough warning and looming situation when Congress fails to enact BBL immediately.

By Ms Mohaiya Pua

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