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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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Posted on 12 May 2017 by cbcs_mike

Thirty two Moro CSO Leaders coming from different provinces of Davao converged in a consultation forum conducted at MTRC , Bajada, Davao City on May 9, 2017 sponsored by the Consortium of Bangsamoro Civil Society (CBCS).


The forum participants were spearheaded by the Bangsamoro Platform for Unity, Solidarity and Harmony (BM-PUSH) for Davao areas led by Mr. Sami Buat and MNLF Commander Leopoldo Lalang, Led Convener and Co-Convener respectively. BM-PUSH is a loose formation of community leaders committed to support the ongoing peace processes between the government and the Moro Fronts as well to relentlessly call for unity and solidarity among the major Bangsamoro groupings .

The CSO leaders’ apprehension came after President Duterte express some sort of “pessimism” in the ongoing Bangsamoro Peace Process due to failure of the MNLF – Misuari faction to unite with the MILF now leading the negotiation. However, it was discussed that even if the Misuari group was allowed by no less than President Duterte have their own and separate negotiation, the upcoming Bangsamoro Enabling Law (BEL) to be crafted by the expanded Bangsamoro Transition Commission (BTC) is already a convergence of both the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) with the presence of no less than five representatives from the former.

The other crucial issues raised in the dialogue of Moro CSO Leaders are the timetables in drafting new BEL is very erratic. Under the Duterte’s Roadmap for Peace and Development, it was stipulated that the final draft will be finalized and submitted to the Office of the President before July 2017. Then later, there was a request from the Office of the President for the BTC to submit their draft by May 18, 2017 and in response the later committed to hand the final draft by May 15 which is merely four days to go. And current information reveals that a new timetable was forwarded by BTC, extending their submission of final draft of BEL to the president on June 1, 2017. Be that as it may, again around twenty two days left and still time is in essence because if we follow the Roadmap, before it can be submitted to the president, the draft BEL should have been presented to “Bangsamoro General Consultative Assembly” which still don’t have features of how it looks like for now.

In the afternoon, Al-Haj Murshid Mascud, vice chairman of the Mindanao Alliance for Peace (MAP) and currently Chairman of the “BTC – CSO Task Force on Bangsamoro Consultative Assembly” was invited to shed light on the function of the task force related to the ongoing drafting of the BEL. He explained that the task force is creation of BTC Honorable Chairman Ghazali Jaafar purposely to consult the CSO Leaders in Mindanao and in preparation for the stated Bangsamoro General Consultative Assembly. He informed the leaders, that other Task Forces were also created to consult other major groupings and sectors of the Moro society among others, the Sultanate, Religious, Non-Moro Settlers, IPs, Business, LGU officials women, youth and others. He ended by saying due to time constraints, the BTC may or may not able to conduct the said assembly “but at least we already have started and now doing our consultations on the gorund.”

In the plenary discussions, the CSO leaders identified appropriate and timely advocacy campaign during the period and concretized important issues and concerns in a statement signed by the participating CSO leaders and committed to furnish all concerns and in media entities.

Datu Emil Gonzales

CBCS Area Coordinator

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Posted on 11 May 2017 by cbcs_mike

Fifty four Officers and Members of the Bangsamoro Network for Solidarity and Accountability (BANSA) of North Cotabato and Bukidnon Chapter conducted their Annual Regional Assembly held at their center in Barangay Layug, Pagalungan, Maguindanao on April 29, 2017. BANSA is a network organization of Moro multi-sectoral community leaders organized in all major areas in Mindanao.


The highlights of the assembly is an update of the ongoing Peace Processes between the government and the Moro Fronts in particular the GPH-MILF Peace Talks which was delivered by Mike Kulat, Senior Program Officer of the Consortium of Bangsamoro Civil Society (CBCS) as their resource person. The resource person discussed the Two Tracks in the Duterte’s Roadmap for Peace and Development in pursuance with the Bangsamoro peace process namely: (1) “The Legislative Track” which is an opportunity to establish Bangsamoro Governance ahead of Federalism and (2) “Federalism Track” which seeks to federalize Philippines first before establishing the Bangsamoro Governance.

On the other hand, the other caveat aside from racing against time in finalizing the draft BEL is the faction of the MNLF Misuari wing which was also allowed to craft their own draft of New Autonomy Law (NAL) base on the 1996 Final Peace Agreement. As of the moment, few if there were who knows what is happening on that process and at lost on how it will be converged with the BEL.

In the plenary discussion, the participants tackled openly the pros and cons of the above two tracks and finally got their consensus to advance following “Legislative Track” in establishing Bangsamoro Governance ahead of federalization even as they committed to support the federal move of the president later.

The assembly finally agreed to make their letter of appeals to major stakeholders of the peace processes that stated in part: “The BANSA believes that the centuries-old conflict in Muslim Mindanao will only be resolved by addressing the injustices committed against the Bangsamoro People through the passage of the Bangsamoro Enabling Law base on the wisdom of the Framework Agreement on the Bangsamoro and the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro. The organization also strongly believes that the prioritization of the Bangsamoro Enabling Law or Bangsamoro Basic Law should come first before the shifting of the unitary system of governance to federal form of government.”

By: Fardju Indin

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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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Unity and Solidarity


Posted on 28 April 2017 by cbcs_mike

The CBCS as a network organization of the CSOs in Mindanao is on accompaniment of the GPH-MILF Peace Process. It is in this context that CBCS-Zamboanga del Sur installed steel framed billboards and hanged streamers in Pagadian City and Labangan, Zamboangadel Sur, as part of its IEC materials, a contribution towards peace in Mindanao in particular and the whole country in general. Below is the text/message:

Bangsamoro Now_Fed LaterUnity and Solidarity

 However, such initiative was mis-understood by the DILG office of Labangan thru MLGOO Maribel Estoquia, for her the text: BANGSAMORO BASIC LAW NOW! FEDERALISM LATER., is not good. The term FEDERALISM might cause the termination of the barangay officials since they had submitted a resolution to the office of DILG-Labangan before, supporting the Federalism of the President. Thus the concern MLGOO mandated the Brgay. Officials to immediately remove the hanged steamers and tarpaulin and it was immediately followed by the barangay officials due to fear of possible termination.

On Apri 12, 2017, an urgent meeting with the concern MLGOO was then initiated by the Area Coordinator together with TarhataDaligdigan, a CBCS and BM-PUSH member and convener in Labangan and Rasam Disoma, a CBCS member of Pagadian City. The objective of the said meeting is for the CBCS to clarify the removal of the said IEC materials in Labangan, Zamboangadel Sur. The meeting had answered the questions of both side on the issue of installing/hanging those IEC materials. Below are the highlights of the meeting:

CBCS: Greetings! What is the reason of removing those IEC materials Streamers and tarpaulin?

DILG-MLGOO : To avoid termination of the Brgy. Officials of Labangan, particularly in barangays Tapodoc and Brgy. Lower Campo Islam. Because the term Federalism Later is not good, its just like having a competition :BANGSAMORO BASIC LAW NOW! FEDERALISM LATER”. She suggested to replace the text message instead of Federalism later… just replace it with on unity and convergence. In addition; you need to prepare a letter of request to LGU Labangan for the installation of the billboard/streamers address to the Local Chief Executive.

CBCS: We explained that we are not against Federalism, what we want is establishment of Bangsamoro Basic Law/BANGSAMORO GOVERNMENT fist then Federalism will follow, anyway these are the 2 tracks for Peace as adopted by the Duterte Administration.

This problem occurred a week after installing the billboard and 2 days after hanging the streamers in Labangan, Zamboangadel Sur.

The issue was immediately brought to an urgent meeting of BM-PUSH, Zamboangadel Sur on April 15, 2017. Below is the group’s recommendations:

• Hanging of the removed streamers in another location
• Print a tarpaulin on unity and convergence for replacement of the removed tarpaulin in Junction Labangan, Zamboanga del Sur
• Write a letter address to OPPAP head for information on the said problem, to be drafted by Mohaiya and to be finalized by Sultan MaguidMaruhom and then send to OPPAP office.


• The issue is being read by the people.
• The issue may push a question and realization of the people on what is going on in Mindanao as far as Peace Process is concern
• The need to know more
• The need for peoples participation
• The need for Moro people to work together and support the existing peace process • Discouragement of the CBCS members in the ground
• Violation of our rights to express what we want
• Lost of funds/ sayangang pera and time


Area Coordinator
Zamboangadel Sur

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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 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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Posted on 13 December 2016 by cbcs_mike

In the Name of God, the Beneficent, the Merciful


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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