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Posted on 29 May 2017 by cbcs_mike

We are saddened with the unwanted crisis occurred in Marawi City, which resulted to the evacuation of the innocent civilians and the unexpected declaration of Martial Law in Mindanao by the President.

The BM-PUSH Zamboanga Peninsula Area is not in authority to doubt the decision of the president for the declaration of Martial law,but we have the following appeals and call:

1. To the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) to give highest respect to the civilians and uphold  Human Rights in the implementation of Martial Law while fighting with the terrorist groups.

2. To the people in authority to find immediate action in resolving the crisis in Marawi City which may help in sending back the evacuees to their respective homes especially during this Holy month of Ramadhan.

3. To the government of the Philippines to fast track the peace processes and work for the early passage of the Bangsamoro Enabling Law (BEL).

4. To the people in Marawi City in particular and Mindanao in general to be united and be vigilant enough in order to protect their communities.

5. We are calling for the cessation of hostilities in Marawi City to end the current conflict and violence.

The BM-PUSH ZAMPEN Area, is condemning the incident in Marawi City which brought the tri-people into unsafe condition and even left their livelihood and education of their children at home in exchange of the indefinite stay in the unfavorable evacuation centers.

The BM-PUSH ZAMPEN Area,is in Solidarity with the innocent civilians and all people in Marawi City and the Lanao provinces. We hope and pray for the early resolution of the problem. May the Almighty Allah will protect and guide you all always. ALLAHU AKBAR!!!

By: Mohaiya Pua

MAY 27, 2017

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CBCS Statement on Martial Law, Terrorism and Counter-terrorism

Posted on 29 May 2017 by cbcs_mike

It is unfortunate that we are caught again in a situation where people had to live in high level of fears and uncertainties in their securities. This situation is brought about on one hand by terror attacks and on the other hand, by the counter-terrorism response. In both cases, the civilians and non-combatants are the sure victims.

Declaring martial law as a form of counter-terrorism and the threat of heavy militarization from government on one hand and the counter military actions from the enemies of the state on the other hand are among the reasons that we see in the exodus of the Meranaws from Marawi city to Iligan city and Cagayan de Oro city and other places. It is the excessive use of force and some features of Martial law that even peace-loving individuals are afraid of.

People who had experienced Martial Law during the Marcos regime can tell harrowing stories of ordeal, fear and insecurities in their lives and properties. This is especially so when President Duterte said that the martial law in Mindanao “ could not be any different from the martial law declared by Marcos” and that he could be “harsh”. These statements make people think that things can get worst.

We thought that the situation in Marawi City was not worst than the Zamboanga siege in 2013. In the latter, the damage was big, the forces of enemies of the state were in big number and the fear was great. However, situation was normalized without declaring Martial Law. We were confident that military will be able to neutralize the enemies sooner in Marawi City.

We condemn any action, especially terror attacks as well as counter-terror attacks that create havoc, sending peace-loving civilians and non-combatants to scamper for safety, leaving their livelihood, the education of their children and their miserable existence in evacuation sites under the mercy of relief goods.

We appeal to both the government forces and those fighting the government to give the highest respect to the lives of the civilians and the non-combatants.

For the government military forces to enforce its mandate strictly in accordance with the law and with respect to human rights and the International Humanitarian Law. We further appeal to the government to immediately solve the violence in the Marawi complex in order to send back the civilians home, especially that it is already the holy month of Ramadhan. Running violence that can spill over to the adjacent areas and may drag in other non-state actors , can adversely affect the on-going peace processes between the government and the mainstreamed Moro fronts.

We appeal to those fighting the government to distance themselves from the communities in order to ensure the safety of the civilians and to spare the non-combatants and peace-loving individuals.

For the government forces and the enemy of the state LET NOT THE CIVILIANS BE THE COLLATERAL DAMAGE.“Killing an innocent and peace-loving civilian (person) is like killing the whole humanity, while saving the life of an innocent and peace-loving individual is like saving the entire humanity”

Finally, we share our thoughts that counter-terrorism the military way can only have a very temporary relief effect. As shown in the experiences of other countries and even in the Philippines, the “hard” approach did not prevent extremism or terrorism to recur. The long-term solution is to dig into the structural, emotional and psychological causes of violence and extremism. Frustration, hopelessness and poverty are among the incubators of violence and to some degrees extremist reactions.

It is therefore imperative that after the conflict, the sources of violence that can lead to extremism must be rooted out. The Bangsamoro, when given the space and adequate authorities, can help push development and stamp out the sources of violence and extremism.

CBCS Secretariat                                                                                                                                       Consortium of Bangsamoro Civil Society (CBCS)

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MILF Official Statement On the declaration of Martial Law in Mindanao

Posted on 25 May 2017 by cbcs_mike

[This article is a reprint from the articles in “The Voice of the Bangsamoro” page by Bai Maleiha B. Candao]

The Moro Islamic Liberation Front•Thursday, May 25, 2017


After the disturbing events that have unfolded in Marawi City, Malacanang has announced that the President has declared Martial Law in the whole of Mindanao. Such proclamation, presumably made within the legal processes of the Government of the Philippines, is apparently designed to contain the Marawi incident and to prevent it from spreading to other parts of Mindanao.

The Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), while not in a position to question the factual basis for the proclamation or the decision to make it, appeals to the Philippine Government to ensure that the ceasefire mechanisms continue to work on the ground, and that any military operations against the Group that perpetrated the violence in Marawi does not spark more fighting in other areas. Mobilizing the military in Mindanao should still respect the mechanisms that have proven to be effective in scaling down armed encounters between government forces and the Bangsamoro Islamic Armed Forces (BIAF). Conversely, recent events have shown that disregard of these mechanisms have been disastrous to our communities and to the effort to bring to fruition the end of the decades-long conflict in our homeland.

The MILF strongly condemns the violence in Marawi perpetrated by group or groups whose only aim is to sow terror. There is no justification for launching an offensive against civilian populace and to destroy infrastructures and institutions serving the public.

The MILF is firm in its resolve to settle the legitimate grievances of the Bangsamoro people through the negotiated process now contained in the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro. The different mechanisms of the peace process are still engaged with their esteemed counterparts in government and are working towards finding ways on how best to address the challenge posed by the violence being committed in Marawi by groups who have chosen to take violence without regard to the best interest of our people. Now more than ever, the MILF and the government must work closely to ensure the protection of the gains of the peace process and to even forge with greater resolve to immediately implement the peace agreement so that no other groups may use its non-implementation to justify their continued pursuit of violence for violence’s sake.

The Moro Islamic Liberation Front stands in solidarity with the people of Marawi and Lanao del Sur during this tragic day. We call on our forces to extend all necessary assistance to the people of Marawi to ensure their safety and frustrate the aim of any group or groups to sow divide in our communities. Let us all stand united to win peace for our people. Wassalamo alaykom warahmatullahi wabarakatuh.

By: CBCS Secretariat

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Terrorism and Counter-Terrorism: Two sides of the same coin

Posted on 12 May 2017 by cbcs_mike

Terrorism is defined by the dictionary as “ the unofficial and unauthorized used of violence and intimidation in pursuit of political aim”. Wikipedia further defines , thus Terrorism is, in its broadest sense, the use of intentionally indiscriminate violence as a means to create terror or fear, in order to achieve a political, religious, or ideological aim.[1] It is used in this regard primarily to refer to violence against civilians or non-combatants.[2]

Terrorism according to this definition is creating terror and violence against civilians or non-combatants to achieve a certain political or religious goal. Does this definition exempt military or the security sector which conducts counter-terrorism that create terror among civilians and non-combatants? The first terrorism is the terrorism by the enemy of the state while the second terrorism (counter-terrorism) is state-sponsored.

This terrorism and counter-terrorism that both create terror among civilians and non-combatants shall be pursued vigorously in the Ulama Anti-terrorism summit. It must also be defined, as in the case of the Bangsamoro, if terrorism is a cause or an effect.

Running against a handful of terrorists will never justify the terror created against the civilians and non-combatants. They are in the thousands. They are displaced, lost their livelihood, hungry, getting sick in evacuation center living in the mercy of relief goods. This is more than terror. So, you don’t solve terrorism that creates havoc on civilians by another terrorism that equally creates terror.

Terrorism should not have a place in society aspiring to live peacefully like ours. It should be rooted out. The reason for terrorism must be analyzed deeply. The BIFF and the Maute groups came in the picture only recently. They descended from MILF parents. Earlier on both the BIFF and the Maute groups were in a “wait and see” posture. Things change when the BBL was not passed in the 16th congress. They seem to have lost their Bangsamoro nationalism by the failure and hopelessness of a homegrown solution to the Bangsamoro autonomy. Then they must have been attracted to the global ideology of the ISIS. They came more prominently thereafter. Many of the present leadership of the ASG are descendants of MNLF parents. These are important factors to be considered seriously in looking for a more permanent solution to terrorism in the Bangsamoro. We need to look for the better perspectives that will naturally eradicate terrorism. Terrorism does not happen with out reasons. That reasons can also be very local. It can be in our own backyard. Solving the Bangsamoro question may help solve terrorism in the long term.

The mainstream MNLF and the MILF can be a strong support to solving the issue of terrorism if they are given enough space and authority through a meaningful autonomy. While we are looking for an immediate call to action solution to terrorism, strategically an autonomy is one peace of effective solution to the problem. Remember, all conflicts are local. Long Live the Ulama…. (Bapa G)


Guiamel M. Alim
CBCS, Chairperson

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Posted on 03 May 2017 by cbcs_mike

Fifty nine Moro multi-sectoral leaders of South Cotabato, Sultan Kudarat, Sarangani and General Santos City (SOCSKSARGEN) converged in a forum dubbed as “Consultation/Forum on Bangsamoro Platform for Unity, Solidarity and Harmony (BM-PUSH) held at Ameliyah’s Place in General Santos City on May 1, 2017.


The activity was facilitated by Ms Aida Seddic, MUWOGEN President and which was sponsored by the Consortium of Bangsamoro Civil Society (CBCS) in cooperation with its network member organizations operating in the area as well as the BM-PUSH Convener for SOCSKSARGEN areas, Rajahmuda Abdulhamid Ingkong and Datu Kads Masahod as Head and Deputy head respectively.
The consultations aimed at keep posting the multi-sectoral leaders on any development in the peace processes particularly on the GPH-MILF and GPH-MNLF Peace Talks and identify appropriate responses and advocacy campaign.

The activity was opened with an input from Sheikh Abdulbayan Zacaria, a fresh graduate of Islamic Studies from Riyadh University tackled importance of unity and solidarity on the Islamic perspective where he discussed verses from the Qur’an and Hadith of Prophet Muhammad (SAW) on related issues.

In relation to peace process, Mike Kulat, CBCS Senior Program Officer and also Vice Chair of the CSO Task Force on Bangsamoro Consultative Assembly, emphasized to the participants, of the CSO identified important milestones or direction of the ongoing peace process as:
(1) Creation of the new expanded BTC (2) Drafting of the new BBL or Bangsamoro Enabling Law (3) Conduct of Bangsamoro General Consultative Assembly (4) BBL/BEL submission and certifying as “Urgent Bill” by the President (5) Congressional Enactment of BBL/BEL (6) Referendum/Plebiscite in May 2019 Election (7) Establishment of the Bangsamoro Transitional Authority (BTA) (8) Election of 1st Bangsamoro Parliament Members (9) Formation of the Ministerial Form of Bangsamoro Government (10) Signing of the “Exit Document”.

He stressed that the importance of knowing these important roadmap and timelines is “for the Multi-sectoral leaders to identify appropriate and timely advocacy campaign as the negotiation is progressing.”

On the other hand, Al-Haj Murshid Mascud, Vice Chair of Mindanao Alliance for Peace (MAP) and Chair of the “CSO Task force on Bangsamoro Consultative assembly”, emphasized that: “the task force was created under the of Office of Bangsamoro Transitional Commission (BTC) Chair Hon. Ghazali Jaafar purposely to conduct consultations and dialogues with different leaders of the civil society organizations (CSOs) all over Mindanao.” This he said: “is in preparation for the conduct of the Bangsamoro General Consultative Assembly where final BBL draft will be presented before its submission to the president or later if time does not warrant.”

This was followed by open forum where participants were given ample time to express their comments, suggestions and queries related to the inputs that were presented by the resource persons and ended with final impressions given by selected leaders from the participants.

Finally, they closed the activity by signing of their manifesto which contained their full support, recommendations and appeals to the direct stakeholders of the ongoing peace processes between the Moro Fronts and the Government.


Ustadz Ebrahim Sandigan

Area Coordinator for SOCSKSARGEN


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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


Mike G. Kulat
Senior Program Officer

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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.


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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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.


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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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]


“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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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:

December 8, 2016

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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