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IS THERE MARTIAL RULE IN LABANGAN, ZAMBOANGA DEL SUR?

Posted on 28 April 2017 by cbcs_mike

[This is a commentary to the event that transpired on the removal of the Information and Educational Campaign materials of the Consortium of Bangsamoro Civil Society (CBCS) in Barangays Tapodoc and Lower Campo Islam in Labangan, Zamboanga del Sur]

As a backgrounder, Consortium of Bangsamoro Civil Society (CBCS) is a network of Moro Civil Society Organizations operating in many parts of Mindanao who is long been accompanying the peace process between the government and Moro Fronts in Mindanao. In its effort in sharing its meager part in finding peaceful political settlement of the age-old Bangsamoro problem, among its program is massive information campaign through radio programs, Billboards, streamers and documents’ distribution to the general public on any developments in the peace process particularly on the GPH-MILF Peace Talks.

Related to this, the Streamers and Billboards located in Barangays Tapodoc and Lower Campo Islam was removed on April 11 and 12, 2017 respectively by respective Barangay Officials on order of the Municipal Local Government Officer of Labanagan, Zamboanga del Sur, Ms Maribel Estoquia with treat that without removing the Information and Educational Campaign (IEC) materials, subject Barangay Officials will be terminated from their positions.

First, we taught that we are living in a democratic country where everyone is afforded with their “right to expression” under the 1987 Philippine Constitution. Thus, our IEC materials are one of our politcal expression and a means of support to the National Peace Program of the Presidents of the Philippines and the Moro Fronts including past administrations. Therefore, these negotiations are political exercise as peaceful means of resolving the age-old Bangsamoro problem and it is our right to express our political belief that best and most suitable to the Moro People.

Granting, that local government units have resolutions supporting the campaign for federalism but it is also constitutional rights of other people to express their own political belief that may be supportive to or against those resolutions because we are living in democratic country. In like manner we never opposed or criticize those who support federalism as President Duterte’s “Roadmap for Peace and Development” contained two tracks: (1) “The Legislative Track 1” that perceived to establish the aspired Bangsamoro Government ahead of Federalization and (2) “The Federalism Track 2” that seek to establish Bangsamoro entity after federalization.

We have a million reasons why we chose “Track 1” and one of which is that already billions and billions of public funds were spent by the government in order to find right solutions to the armed conflict in Moro areas through the forty two (42) years of negotiation starting in 1975 and many more.

Second, these IEC materials had been established in strategic areas in Mindanao; from Central Mindanao in Cotabato City, SOCSKSARGEN, Davao Areas, Lanao Areas, Basilan, Sulu and Tawi-Tawi and all of them are going well except in Labangan, Zamboanga del Sur. This prompted us to ask why only in Labangan? Is there martial rule in Labangan? We hate to think that it is an expression of how rights of people are suppressed in that area.

Third, we would like to remind MLGOO of these statements of the national Officials: “If there are no objectionable provisions, I think there will be no problem and the fact that the President wants this bill as a model for federal states later on when we … change (the) form of government from unitary to a federal system… it will become a model of all states — I think that would be easier to pass”, Alvarez said as quoted by Mindanews. [Italics and emphasis mine]. This statement, we believed is culled from no less than the campaign promises and the usual statements of President Duterte which emphasized to establish Bangsamoro Government first ahead of federalism.

And by the MLGOO saying that, that is a national policy and the LGU is different is contradictory to what we taught to that LGUs are alter-ego of the Executive Branch of the national government.

Fourth, the treats made by MLGOO to the Barangay Officials of the aforementioned Barangays to be terminated of their positions on failure to remove the IEC materials is a characteristic of martial rule. As we know, termination of elected officials from national down to the lowest (Barangay units) is the same process – that is through “petition for Recall” and not by simple words from an appointed officials.

These treats to the elected Barangay Officials can be a grave misconduct and uncharacteristic for either higher elected officials or from appointed positions unless we are living in an autocratic governance

By:

Mike G. Kulat
Senior Program Officer
CBCS

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NETWORK ORGANIZATIONS IN ZAMBOANGA PENINSULA BRAINSTORMED FOR THE PEACE PROCESS

Posted on 06 April 2017 by cbcs_mike

Eight (8) network organization leaders of the Consortium of Bangsamaoro Civil Society Inc. (CBCS) operating in Zamboanga Peninsula conducted a brainstorming session held at OMA (NCMF) Conference Hall, Liga City Compound, Pagadian City on March 28, 2017.

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The brainstorming session was spearheaded by Sultan Maguid Marohom, head of Ummah Fii Salam Inc. who updated the organization leaders of both the local issues and the peace process. One of the crucial issues affecting the GPH-MILF Peace Process now is coping with the timelines embodied under President Duterte’s “Roadmap for Peace and Development” which stated that the new and expanded members of the Bangsamoro Transition Commission (BTC) have to work, finalized and presented the draft to a “Bangsamoro General Consultative Assembly” before July 2017.

Ms Mohaiya Pua, Area Coordinator for Zamboanga Peninsula apprised the CSO Leaders of activities being undertaken by CBCS in the accompaniment of the peace process. She emphasized that within the first half of the month of April 2017, educational and information campaign (IEC) materials from Billboards, tarpaulins and streamers will be installed and established in strategic areas in Clustered provinces in Mindanao all in support to the ongoing peace processes. Aside from these, there are also Radio Block-Time programs established entitled Salam Bangsamoro at DXJC Voice FM in Cotabato City for Central Mindanao Areas; DXGS IN General Santos City for South Cotabato and Sarangani; DXUM in Davao City for Davao Areas; Ranao Radio and TV Broadcasting Network in Marawi City for Ranao Areas; DXID in Pagdian City for Zamboanga Peninsula; Radio Kasanyangan in Bongao for tawi-Tawi province and DXMM in Jolo for Sulu provinces areas. All of the above are means to disseminate basic information about the developments of the peace processes particularly on the GPH-MILF and GPH-MNLF Peace Processes.

The brainstorming session ended with the ways forward which is expanding their group from eight organizations to reach out to no less than seventeen more organizations operating in Pagadian City, Zamboanga del Sur, Zamboanga-Sibugay and other nearby provinces.

By: Mohaiya S. Pua

Provincial Advocacy Officer

Zamboanga Peninsula

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CSO APPEAL TO BTC

NEW EXPANDED BTC SECOND PLENNARY SESSION GREETED WITH CSO SUPPORT AND REMINDERS

Posted on 05 April 2017 by cbcs_mike

The second Regular Session of the new expanded Bangsamoro Transitional Commission (BTC) started Monday at the EM Manor Hotel in Cotabato City. The session was greeted by ralliest who manifested their full support to the BTC but on the other hand reminded the Commissioners of the importance of working as a team of problem solver for the benefit of the Bangsamoro rather than adversarial being from the government or from the MILF.

CSO APPEAL TO BTC

The coalition of CSO Leaders lined up at the entrance of the session hall even before the BTC Commissioners arrived, carrying placards which embodied their supports, appeals and expectations from the commissioners. Some of these placards says to BTC : “UNTO YOUR HANDS WE ENTRUST OUR FUTURE”, “WE TRUST YOUR WISDOM AND DETERMINATION TO WORK FOR A SOLUTION OF MORO ISSUES”,”PLEASE DON’T FAIL US”, “PLEASE WORK AS PROBLEM SOLVING TEAM” and “TREAT EACH OTHER AS PARTNER RATHER THAN COUNTERPART”.

The CSO Leaders was spearheaded by the Consortium of Bangsamoro Civil Society (CBCS) with its networks such as: UNYPAD, MAPAD, UNYPHIL-Women, BCN, SLATAN, MWDECC, LBO, BM Doctors Association of the Philippines, BM-SEED, BCJP, MWAG among others.

The above slogans were also contained in an official Letter of Appeal submitted to the Chairman of BTC Honorable Ghazali Jaafar and furnished with all the Commissioners. The CSO Letter of Appeal was recognized by the chair at his opening statement and supposedly to be read by Dr. Anniera Usop but was suggested from BTC instead to be read by Emran Mohamad from the Bangsamoro Communication Network Inc.

However, due to arising of important issues raised by by one veteran-lawyer member of the commission, the reading of the CSO manifesto were either overlooked or set aside. Be that as it may, one observer quipped, “grandstanding” is mounting which is critical point that will prevail in the succeeding sessions of BTC. Commissioner Samira Gutoc-Tomawis reminded her colleagues on the issue above, that the commission had “only around two months and a half to work with the new BBL” while their sessions is still stocked on internal rules. This precisely, why the CSO made this short support rally is and their apprehensions of coping with the timelines of the Bangsamoro Peace Process.

Nevertheless, not too late and the Commissioners still have the opportunity in racing against time as Commissioner Atty. Raissa Jajurie, head of the Committee on Internal Rules that if approved BTC will have a “three-day sessions every week” a sort of marathon sessions if not defeated by so much “grandstanding” within.

By Mike Kulat

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BANGSAMORO LEADERS LETTER OF APPEAL TO MNLF AND MILF

Posted on 14 December 2016 by cbcs_mike

For the MNLF and MILF to work together for Common Good of the Bangsamoro

Dear Brothers and Sisters in the MNLF and the MILF,

Assalamu Alaikom wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuho!

We, the one hundred twenty participants to the Bangsamoro Multi-Sectoral Leaders’ Summit held from December 5 – 9, 2016 at the Royale Mandaya Hotel, Davao City, coming from the provinces and cities of ARMM and non-ARMM provinces in Mindanao, representing different Moro ethnic groups, after series of provincial consultations and regional assemblies on current important socio-political and economic cultural developments that affect the lives of the Bangsamoro, hereby declare the following:

  1. We recognize your vanguardship and strong determination in leading the struggle of the Bangsamoro for self-determination;
  2. We praise the fact that your struggle has incremental gains and victories which are now being enjoyed by the Bangsamoro;
  3. We acclaim your sincere efforts in liberating the Bangsamoro from national oppression, exploitation and discrimination;
  4. We have taken note of the historical fact that the split in the Bangsamoro fronts had caused ill-feelings and mutual distrust among the front’s leaders and much more to the Bangsamoro masses as a whole;
  5. We acknowledged that an opportunity is at hand under the new Duterte administration for the Bangsamoro to face the challenge of drafting a common enabling law that is acceptable to the Bangsamoro;
  6. We acknowledge with appreciation your common goal of establishing a Bangsamoro society that is faithful to Islamic doctrines;
  7. We express our admiration for your common effort to put your acts together and mindful and guided by the verses from the Qur’an such as:                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 “And hold fast, all together, by the rope which Allah (stretches out for you), and do not be divided among yourselves;…” [Ali-Imran 103]

“Be not like those who are divided amongst themselves and fall into disputations after receiving Clear Signs: For them is a dreadful penalty,”- [Ali-Imran 105]

And:

“For each one are successive [angels] before and behind him who protect him by the decree of Allah . Indeed, Allah will not change the condition of a people until they change what is in themselves. And when Allah intends for a people ill, there is no repelling it. And there is not for them besides Him any patron.” [Suratul Ra’d: 11]

Reflecting on the above, we earnestly appeal to your good selves to:

  • Be mindful of the spirit of the MNLF-MILF signed unity agreements in Cyberjaya, Malaysia in 2001 that created the Bangsamoro Solidarity Conference (BSC) and the Dushanbe, Tajikistan Agreement of 2010 that established the Bangsamoro Coordination Forum (BCF) through the auspices of the of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC);
  • Fully utilize the Bangsamoro Coordination Forum (BCF) as converging platform for the peace agreements:
  • Listen to the outcry of the Bangsamoro masses, whose interests you swear to promote, protect and defend;
  • Be mindful that the whole Bangsamoro people put their high hope of ending their long suffering as well as the next generation through your concerted efforts and with the aid of the Almighty Allah.

Done and signed at Royal Mandaya Hotel, Davao City this 8th day of December 2016.

NOTE: Original document signed by One Hundred Forty One (141) Bangsaamoro Leaders.

CBCS Secretariat

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BANGSAMORO MULTI-SECTORAL LEADERS LETTER OF APPEAL TO OIC

Posted on 14 December 2016 by cbcs_mike

In the Name of God, the Beneficent, the Merciful

Bangsamoro Platform for Unity and Solidarity (BM-PUSH)
C/O Consortium of Bangsamoro Civil Society (CBCS)
KFI Compound, Dona Pilar St., Poblacion IV, Cotabato City,
9600 Philippines
Tel. No.: (064) 421 1686, Email Add: secretariat_cbcs@yahoo.com

December 8, 2016

H.E. DR. YUSUF BIN AHMAD AL-OTHAIMEEN
The Secretary General
Organization of Islamic Cooperation

His Excellency:

Assalamu Alaikum Wa Rahmatullahi Wa Barakatuhu!

We are participants in the “Bangsamoro Multi-Sectoral Leaders’ Summit for Unity and Solidarity: Towards Creating a Platform for Consensus-Building among Bangsamoro Stakeholders” held on December 5 – 9, 2016 in Davao City. We are leaders of various Bangsamoro civil society organizations, academe, sultanates, religious and other organized groups. As such, we are significant stakeholders of the Bangsamoro peace processes.

We fully agree with the position of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) that there is an imperative for the two Bangsamoro Fronts to work together towards attaining a just conclusion of their legitimate struggle. We take note of the statement of your excellency on December 12, 2015, where you urged “the leaders of both the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) to consolidate their coordination and cooperation through the Bangsamoro Coordination Forum (BCF) and to engage other stakeholders in order to close ranks, strengthen and consolidate their cooperation and unity and maintain their peaceful struggle for the common cause”.

The OIC has been instrumental in the negotiation of the MNLF and the Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GPH) since the very start of the peace process until the signing of the 1996 Final Peace Agreement and even the Tripartite Review. For this, we are truly grateful.

Moreover, the OIC has facilitated the coming together of MILF Chairman Murad Ebrahim Al Haj and MNLF Chairman Prof. Nur Misuari on May 18, 2010, when they signed the Dushanbe Agreement in Tajikistan. In this historic meeting, both leaders agreed that “unity is indispensable to the success of the Bangsamoro struggle”. They also agreed to establish a mechanism for coordination between their respective organizations which eventually became the Bangsamoro Coordination Forum (BCF). Thereafter, the OIC continued to support the BCF and has hosted several meetings between the Fronts.

In recent developments, the Government of the Republic of the Philippines has laid down a roadmap outlining how it will deal with the two Fronts is separate and parallel tracks. Such tracks are expected to produce two separate draft laws that are designed to create/strengthen autonomy for the Bangsamoro. However, there is no clear mechanism where the two tracks meet and converge for a stronger and unified position prior to the submission of the draft laws to Philippine Congress.

In line with these facts, we believe that:

1. The MNLF and the MILF have high level of trust on the OIC;
2. The OIC has religious ties with the Bangsamoro; and
3. The OIC has a friendly diplomatic relationship with the Government of the Philippines.

Consistent with the continuing and persistent calls for unity from various sectors of society, and recognizing the essential role of the OIC, we are therefore appealing for your urgent and sustained support to assert your moral persuasion to help fast track the unity of the MNLF and MILF. Such unity will pave the way toward a unified law that will lead to stronger governance, and eventually to the attainment of the Bangsamoro right to self-determination.

We shall be blessed by Your Excellency’s favorable and timely response to this request, InshaAllah. JazakAllahu Khair.

We are:

NOTE: Original document was signed by One Hundred Nineteen (119) delegates.

CBCS Secretariat

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SUMMIT DECLARATION

Posted on 13 December 2016 by cbcs_mike

In the Name of God, the Beneficent, the Merciful

DECLARATION

We, the participants to the “Bangsamoro Multi-Sectoral Leaders’ Summit for Unity and Solidarity: Towards Creating a Platform for Consensus-Building among Bangsamoro Stakeholders”, held on December 6 – 8, 2016 in Davao City, coming from Central, Southern, Northern and Western Mindanao, and consisting of different Moro ethnic groups, after going through rigorous process of reflection on current social and political issues confronting the Bangsamoro people, hereby DECLARE the following:

1. We deeply appreciate the positive response of the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) to our call for unity and solidarity as indicated in their solidarity messages;

2. We affirm our full agreement that unity is not only a matter of convenience, but an obligation that we, as Muslims, are commanded to fulfill;

3. We honor the the gains of all peace agreements signed by the Moro Fronts and the Government of the Philippines from the Tripoli Agreement of 1976, the Final Peace Agreement of 1996 to the Comprehensive Agreement on Bangsamoro in 2014;

4. We fully support the on-going peace processes in the Bangsamoro to end the decades of violence and to start rebuilding the Bangsamoro nation towards sustainable peace and development in Mindanao;

5. We uphold the on-going cessation of hostilities between the government forces and the Moro Fronts, which has substantially reduced violence in the Bangsamoro;

6. We appreciate the signing of Executive Order No. 8, s. 2016, which expanded the composition of the Bangsamoro Transition Commission to include other important stakeholders of the Bangsamoro in the drafting of the Bangsamoro Basic Law;

7. We realize the importance of the act of the Duterte administration in reaching out to MNLF Chair Nur Misuari and directing the suspension of the criminal case against him, in order for him to be able to shepherd his group in the engagement for the conclusion of the Tripartite Review and the drafting of the new autonomy law;

8. We appreciate the efforts of local and international organizations for their continuing support to the peace processes, including socioeconomic programs in the Bangsamoro and other conflict-affected areas in order to build on the gains of the peace processes;

We, the Bangsamoro civil society organizations, collectively COMMIT ourselves to:

1. Relentlessly pursue the call for unity and solidarity among our leaders;
2. Reach out to the different stakeholders and communities to build constituencies to support the peace processes;
3. Engage in a sustained intra-Moro dialogues and consultations with the various stakeholders in the Bangsamoro;
4. Support the Bangsamoro Fronts in coordinating their efforts towards a draft law that will create/strengthen self-governance of the Bangsamoro as part of our exercise of the right to self-determination;
5. Directly engage the government, the Moro Fronts, the Philippine Congress and local government units to appeal for their support to lead the peace process to a successful end.

As we do the above, we make the following APPEALS:

1. To the Moro National Liberation Front and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front to reaffirm the agreement signed by MNLF Chair Prof. Nur P. Misuari and MILF Chair Al Haj Murad Ebrahim on 18 may 2010 in Dushanbe, Republic of Tajikistan stating among others, that “unity is indispensable to the success of the Bangsamoro struggle and that there are no basic differences between the Fronts as both are seeking to achieve peace, justice, and a fair solution to the problems of the Bangsamoro people”;

2. To the MNLF and the MILF to coordinate their efforts and find common grounds in drafting a law that would ensure the implementation of the peace agreements and strengthen Bangsamoro self-governance in fulfillment of the aspiration for self-determination;

3. To the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) to exert extra efforts in bringing together the MNLF and the MILF to forge cooperation in addressing the interests of the Bangsamoro people through the Bangsamoro Coordination Forum (BCF);

4. To President Rodrigo Roa Duterte to help work for the passage of law that is consistent with the signed peace agreements and that will pave the way for stronger self-governance of the Bangsamoro, even before he moves for a federal arrangement across the Philippines;

5. To the national government to heed the call for the implementation of the recommendations of the Transitional Justice and Reconciliation Commission in order to address the historical injustices committed against the Bangsamoro;

6. To the national government to expedite the release of Moro political detainees and political prisoners who had been charged/convicted of crimes carried out as part of the armed conflict in Mindanao, as provided for in the Annex on Normalization; and lastly,

7. To the Bangsamoro people to close ranks and support the call for unity, convergence and solidarity of all Bangsamoro leaders.

Signed by the participants of the Bangsamoro Multi-Sectoral Leaders ’ Summit for Unity and Solidarity: towards Creating a Platform for Consensus-Building among Bangsamoro Stakeholders in The Royal Mandaya Hotel in Davao City this 6th Day of December 2016.

NOTE: Original document signed by One Hundred Eleven (111) Participants.

CBCS Secretariat

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The Call of the Bangsamoro CSOs and Sectoral Leaders Regional Assembly for Western Mindanao Cluster

Posted on 29 November 2016 by cbcs_mike

We, the participants of the ZamBaSulTa CSO Leaders Assembly held in Zamboanga City from November 7 – 9, 2016, coming from the various Bangsamoro Sectors and Organizations – the Sutanates, youth, women, academe and communities from the provinces of Sulu, Basilan, Tawi-Tawi and the City of Zamboanga, hereby declare our appreciation of the following:

  1. The uniting efforts of the Bangsamoro masses to end violence and work for peace in the Bangsamoro Homeland;
  2. The support of the local and international NGOs in the task fo uniting the Bangsamoro leaders towards achieving a common aspration that is acceptable to all;
  3. The assistance being extended by the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) in bringing together the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) towards forging a joint effort in addressing the general welfare of the Bangsamoro people;
  4. The effort of President Rodrigo Roa Duterte to allow MNLF Chairman Nur Misuari to participate in the peace process;
  5. The signing of the Executive Order reconstituting the Bangsamoro Transition Commission (BTC) to include other importan stakeholders; and
  6. The important role played by the Sultanates in resisting colonial aggression and maintaining the identity and sovereignty of the Bangsamaoro people.

We also declare our support to:

  • The continuation of the peace processes in the Bangsamoro between the Bangsamoro fronts and the new administration of President Rodrigo Roa Duterte; and
  • The ongoing call of the Bangsamoro civil society groups for unity and solidarity among the Bangsamoro leaders towards working for a unified and enhanced political proposal for the Bangsamoro.

We Call:

  • For a quadripartite meeting MNLF-MILF-GPH and OIC to help fast tract the unity of the Bangsamoro fronts towards a unified Bangsamoro enabling law;
  • For the MNLF and the MILF to religiously abide with the solidarity framework enunciated by the OIC through the Bangsamoro Coordination Forum (BCF) in order to achieve the long-term goal of MNLF-MILF agreement;
  • Urge President Rodrigo Roa Duterte to bring the Bangsamoro fronts together for a dialogue towards forging a consolidated enabling law;
  • Enjoin all the Bangsamoro to rise above tribal differences towards helping unify the MNLF and MILF to synergize their efforts to achieve the peace and development that the Bangsamoro rightfully deserve;
  • The implementation of the recommendations of the Transitional justice and Reconciliation (TJRC) in addressing the legitimate grievances of the Bangsamoro, correcting the historical injustices committed against the Bangsamoro and other indigenous peoples, and addressing human rights violations and marginalization of the Bangsamoro due to land dispositions; and
  • The leaderships of the MNLF and the MILF to refrain from issuing statements detrimental to the Unity and Cooperation of the Bangsamoro.

We affirm:

  • We affirm the importance of the gains of the past peace agreements from the Tripoli Agreement of 1976, the Final Peace Agreement of 1996 and the Comprehensive Agreement on Bangsamoro (CAB) of 2014;
  • For the betterment of the Bangsamoro, we collectively commit ourselves to:
  1. Relentlessly pursue our call for unity and solidarity among our leaders;
  2. Raise the consciousness of the different sectors and organizations of the Bangsamoro society on the importance of unity and the ongoing peace processes;
  3. Reach-out to different stakeholders and communities of the Bagsamoro to build constituencies for unity and solidarity and support to the peace processes; and
  4. Engage in a sustained intra-Moro dialogues and consultations with the various stakeholders of the Bangsamoro on important issues that directly or indirectly affects their lives.

Done and signed in Zamboanag City, Philippines on November 9, 2016.

NOTE: Signed by 84 CSOs and Sectoral Leaders coming from Island provinces of Basilan, Sulu, Tawi-Tawi and Zamboanga City.

By CBCS Secretariat

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DECLARATION AND CALL FOR SUPPORT BY NORTHERN MINDANAO CSOs AND SECTORAL LEADERS

Posted on 29 November 2016 by cbcs_mike

We, the conveners and participants to the “Bangsamoro CSOs and Sectoral Leaders’ General Regional Assembly – Northern Mindanao Cluster” last October 22 -23, 2016 in Pagadian City, including a delegation of the heirs of the Sultanates of Maguindanano and Sibugay area, hereby manifest grave concern over the following unfolding realities in relation to the peace processes and the Bangsamoro struggle for right to self-determination:The never ending negotiation between the GPH and MILF/MNLF without final resolution has brought about skepticism and doubt to growing numbers of our constituents of the effectivity of the negotiation as path to attain peace;

  • More and more people are growing impatient with the negotiation in view of the failure of the congress to pass the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) despite of the overwhelming support if not unanimous of the Bangsamoro CSOs and Sectoral Leaders;
  • More and more people are growing impatient with the negotiation in view of the failure of the congress to pass the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) despite of the overwhelming support if not unanimous of the Bangsamoro CSOs and Sectoral Leaders;
  • The sentiments of pursuing other, but extreme, alternative means can gain ground if the negotiation continues to be inconclusive;
  • Despite the negotiation and the ceasefire, certain places in ARMM, such as Butig in Lanao del Sur, are experiencing armed conflicts where there is military bombings done on a daily basis, displacing thousands of civilians – contrarily creating favorable conditions for extremism.

However, despite these growing and alarming developments, we reaffirm our commitments to support the ongoing peace processes. We are extending our appreciation, recognition and gratitude to the contribution, help and aid of the different local and international non-government organizations in the work to attain a lasting peace, unity and sustainable developments in the Bangsamoro. We likewise extend the same to the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) for bringing together the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) towards forging a joint effort in addressing the general welfare of the Bangsamoro people.

In view of the renewed and strengthened peace negotiations between the GPH and the Bangsamoro fronts, we are declaring our strong support to the following:

  • The call for unity and solidarity of the two Moro fronts, MILF and MNLF, the Bangsamoro tribes in supporting and implementing the peace negotiation;
  • The immediate passage of the BBL (consistent with FAB and CAB) and the full implementation of the agreements already signed between the Bagsamoro people and the GPH;
  • The convergence of all the final agreements between the GPH and the MNLF and MILF;
  • The immediate implementation of the recommendations of the Transitional Justice and Reconciliation Commission (TJRC) by the newly constituted Peace Implementing Panels, majority of which do not need congressional approval or new legislation.

In support of our declaration, we are collectively committing ourselves to:

  1. Strengthen our campaign and pursue the call for unity and solidarity among our leaders and people;
  2. Strengthen our efforts in the campaign and education of our constituents on the importance of the peace processes, its gains and the value of unity in achieving its goals;
  3. Conduct intra-Moro and inter-ethnic dialogues and consultations with the various stakeholders of the Bangsamoro on important issues that directly or indirectly affect their lives;
  4. Broadly disseminate the findings of the TJRC and its recommendations to the different stakeholders of the Bangsamoro;
  5. Actively participate in the ongoing peace processes by monitoring, responding to and advocating vital issues affecting our constituents.

We further reassert the fact that we are among the right-bearers in the peace processes. As such we will be participating in the process, in all appropriate forms, to attain its success.

Signed by the different CSOs and Sectoral Leaders in Pagadian City, this 23rd Day of October 2016.

CBCS Secretariat

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maguindanao-csos-consultation

MAGUINDANAO CSO CONSULTATIVE MEETING SUCCESSFULLY CONCLUDED

Posted on 29 November 2016 by cbcs_mike

The Maguindanao Civil Society Organizations Consultative Meeting which was participated by sixty seven (67) leaders was held last November 24, 2016 at Pagana Native Restaurant, Cotabato City and organized by three major CSO Networks operating in the province of Maguindanao such as the Consortium of Bangsamoro Civil Society Organization (CBCS), Peoples CART (P-CART) and League of Bangsamoro Organizations (LBO).

maguindanao-csos-consultation

Basically, the consultation aimed to draw the line of relationship between CSO’s and ARMM government. It was also held to build an enabling environment for the CSOs to lay down their sentiments and plans for the betterment of governance of the region.

The activity was composed of five (5) major sessions held. The first session aimed at understanding the concept of CSO – Government Relation on the context of Cotabato City Government Experiences through the inputs of Dr. Danda Juanday, the City administrator of Cotabato City.

The second session was a workshop where the participants identified different issues pertaining to the eight thematic issues/areas – Poverty Alleviation, Health, Education, peace & Security, Human Rights, Gender and Development, Disaster Risk Reduction/ Crisis Management and Governance and provided recommendations to the identified issues.

The third session was an open forum where the participants free flowing added some other significant issues not mentioned among the pressing issues that also needs further focus and attention by the Government and CSO partnership:

a. A need of capacity building to the CSOs especially those that are envisioning to handle multi-million pesos projects;
b. A need for the CSOs to participate meaningfully in governance of the local governments;
c. A need to cleanse the list of 4Ps beneficiaries through geo-tagging of their respective houses;
d. A need to mechanized the rice farming in the province and provision of farm inputs and post-harvest facilities;
e. Tahiriya Curriculum was recommended to balance the education and integration of Islamic Values in K to 12;
f. A need to strengthen the RA 9003 in the local levels and establishment MRF (Material Recovery Facilities) at the Barangay;
g. Support to “Backyard refrigerator” project (Backyard gardening) and introduction of “floating rice” to the flooded areas of the province;
h. A need to strengthen the Local Child Protection Program at the barangay and municipal level;
i. A need to address the uncomfortable truth that mostly the LGU organized CSOs were accredited and can accessed programs and projects at the municipal level, not the legitimate and mobilized CSOs;
j. A need to support for the farmers affected by series of Armed conflict and El Nino through finding proper financing instructions for capitalization;
k. A need to proper staffing, right salaries and balanced curriculum in the Madrasahs; and
l. A need to submit this consultation output to the Office of the Regional Governor through the ARMM Regional Summit.

The fourth session was a synthesis given by Mr. Emran Mohammad from Bangsamoro Communication Network (BCN) where he agreed that all observations were true and that there is a need to capacitate every CSO that deals with ARMM; Express everyone’s sentiments, issues and needs to the regional government through this plan and elevate it during the ARMM Regional Summit; plan to advocate and wait for the response of the regional governor.

Finally, there were eight thematic issues identified as Poverty Alleviation, Health, Education, Peace & Security, Human Rights, Gender and Development, Disaster Risk Reduction/ Crisis Management and governance.

After discussion of thematic issues, CSO/stakeholders recommends steps and mechanisms that will ensure the sustainability of ARMM Regional Government and CSOs and also sustainability of all interventions of the regional government aimed at reducing poverty incidence, alleviation the poor living conditions of the Bangsamoro people in ARMM. Many Hoped this summit will open the direction and interest of the CSOs partnership with ARG.

The fifth session was a closing program given by Mr. Abdullah “Evhoy” Villaruel of the CO Multiversity sa Mindanaw (COM) followed by closing prayer led by Ustads Jaafar.

By Mark Hussain

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DECLARATION OF SUPPORT BY SOUTHEAST-CENTRAL MINDANAO CSO LEADERS

Posted on 18 November 2016 by cbcs_mike

Declaration of Support

We, the regional conveners of the Bangsamoro Platform for Unity, Solidarity and Harmony (BM-PUSH), representing the various Bangsamoro sectors and organizations– the sultanates, Moro fronts, religious, civil society organizations, youth, women, academe and communities coming from the provinces of Maguindanao, North Cotabato, Sultan Kudarat, Davao del Sur, Davao Oriental, Compostela Valley, Davao del Norte, Sarangani, South Cotabato and the cities of Cotabato, General Santos, Digos, Mati, Tagum and Davao, who participated in a three-day consultation/workshop on Unity and Solidarity in Davao city, hereby express our appreciation of the following:

1. The contribution of local and international non-government organizations in the work towards the realization of peace, unity and       development in the Bangsamoro;
2. The assistance being extended by the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) in bringing together the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) towards forging a joint effort in addressing the general welfare of the Bangsamoro people;
3. The effort of our religious leaders on educating our people about Islamic values and spiritual enlightenment which is the bedrock of the agenda for unity and solidarity.

We likewise declare our support to:

1. The continuation of the peace processes in the Bangsamoro between the Bangsamoro Fronts and the new administration of President Rodrigo RoaDuterte;
2. The enhancement of the draftBangsamoro Basic Law by the reconstitutedand expanded Bangsamoro Transition Commission (BTC);
3. The on-going call by the Bangsamoro civil society groups for the unity and solidarity among the Bangsamoro leaders towards working for a unified and enhanced political proposal for the Bangsamoro;
4. The implementation of the recommendations of the Transitional Justice and Reconciliation Commission (TJRC) in addressing the legitimate grievances of the Bangsamoro, correcting the historical injustices committed against the Bangsamoro and other indigenous peoples, and addressing human rights violations and marginalization of the Bangsamoro due to land dispossession;

We recognize the important role played by the Sultanate in maintaining the identity and sovereignty of the Bangsamoro People;
We affirm the importance of the gains of the past peace agreements from the Tripoli Agreement of 1976, the Final Peace agreement of 1996 and the Comprehensive Agreement of the Bangsamoro (CAB) of 2015;

For the betterment of the Bangsamoro, we collectively commit ourselves to:

1. Relentlessly pursue the call for unity and solidarity among our leaders;
2. Raise the social consciousness of the different sectors and organizations of the Bangsamoro society on the importance of unity and the on-going peace processes;
3. Reach-out to the different stakeholders and communities of the Bangsamoro to build constituencies for unity and solidarity and support to the peace processes;
4. Engage in sustained intra-Moro dialogues and consultations with the various stakeholders of the Bangsamoro on important issues that directly or indirectly affect their lives;

Signed by the sixty six (66) conveners of the Central Mindanao Regional Bangsamoro Platform for Unity, Solidarity and Harmony (BM-PUSH)in Davao City this 7th day of October, 2016.

 

CBCS Secretariat

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