Archive | January, 2015

CBCS Official Statement on Mamasapano Bloody Incident

Posted on 30 January 2015 by Musa


We, the partners and members of Consortium of Bangsamoro Civil Society, Inc (CBCS, Inc), a network of Moro Civil Society Organization in Mindanao are extending our sincere condolences to the bereaved families and relatives of the members of the PNP-SAF, MILF forces and innocent civilianswho died on what they called “uncoordinated encounter” with members of the 105th MILF based command and some members of the BIFF in Tukanalipao in Mamasapano, province of Maguindanao.

We appeal to every citizen of this country to refrain from issuing statements that would aggravate the entire situation. It is always prudent to be calm at this point in time and exercise sobriety particularly at this time when the elusive peace in Mindanao is within reach. We fervently hope and pray that people will exercise utmost prudence on this trying time.

While, we recognize the strong resentment of many people around the country on this historic bloodshed, it is the best that our judgment on the said incident should be based on fact and truth. It is therefore wise to avoid finger-pointing at anybody at this point in time.

On the other hand, we conclusively lauded the statement of his Excellency, President Benigno Aquino recently as a genuine reflection of its undying commitment with Bangsamoro people for the long desired peace in Mindanao, in his speech; he says “The success of the entire peace process is contingent on this law. We therefore believe that Malacanang is strongly putting resiliently its trust and confidence on the substance and importance of the Bangsamoro Basic Law as this will bring peace and development in Mindanao.

CBCS is further urging both panel, the government of the Republic of the Philippines (GPH) and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) to conduct impartial investigation as soonest possible time on the incident using mechanisms duly agreed upon under the ceasefire agreement with the participation of course of the third party to  maximize the integrity of the result.

We appeal to both sides to immediately review and operationalise ceasefiremechanisms such as; Adhoc Joint Action Group (AHJAG), Coordinating Committee on the Cessation of Hostilities (CCCH) and International Monitoring Team (IMT) as this can help strategically defuse the tension now taking place in the area. As we believe that, if the provisions in the ceasefire agreement strictly observed, like paragraph 5 in implementing guidelines on the joint communique of 6 may 2002, which stateTo avoid unnecessary armed confrontations, the displacement of communities and damage to properties, the Tactical Operations Center (TOC) or Tactical Command Post (TCP) of the government operating forces and with the MILF forces in the area shall work and coordinate closely with the AHJAG and vice versa” and other provisions of the ceasefire agreement,the tragic incident in Mamasapano should have been avoided.

As we vehemently condemn the bloody incident in Mamasapano, Maguindanao, we are calling upon the media as conveyors of truth to the public to be balanced, non-partisan, impartial, objective, and avoid provocative reporting.

We therefore strongly appeal to congress, senate and other government institutions not to equate the importance of Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) to the carnage, and instead make necessary measures allowing the peace to reign amid these challenges. Despite of all, we are still confident, the sincerity of the government and both parties in general of finding ways to achieve peace in Mindanao is still unquestionable and solid.



Signed by:

1)    Consortium of Bangsamoro Civil Society, Inc.

2)  Kadtuntaya Foundation Inc. KFI

3)    Mindanao Women Advocacy for Good Governance

4)    Moro Women Development and Cultural Center, Inc.

5)    Mindanao Action for Peace and Development Initiatives, Inc

6)    Young Advocate for Peace and Development Network

7)    Forum ZFD

8)    UNYPHIL Women

9)    Kadtabanga Foundation

10)Community Organizers Multiversity – CoM

11)Young Advocate for Peace and Development Network

12)United Youth for Peace and Development

13)Bangsamoro Shariah Lawyers League Inc 

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A critical look at the BBL and the BANGSAMORO

Posted on 27 January 2015 by Farj

Guiamel Alim
Chair, Council of Leaders (CoL)
Consortium of Bangsamoro Civil Society (CBCS)

The BANGSAMORO is the envisioned new political autonomy that will replace the ARMM. The proposed new political entity builds on the FPA of 1996 signed by the Philippine government and the MNLF. After a three year transition that ended up in a plebiscite in 1999, the said agreement found its legal expression in RA 9054 known as the expanded autonomy in Muslim Mindanao. RA 9054 is heavily criticized for its failure to improve the lives of the Bangsamoro, thus a “failed experiment”. The reasons for its failure was not however clear. Was it due to management and leadership? Was it due to lack of power and resources? Or is it the combination of the two and other factors?
The rationale of the GPH and the MILF peace process which commenced even less than a year after the signing of the FPA in 1996 is found in the recommendation of a study conducted by the NUC in 1995. In that study one of the 6 paths to peace recommended is to negotiate with all other revolutionary groups in the country that includes the NDF-CPP and its split groups, RAM and the MILF.
The GPH and the MILF peace negotiations dragged for 14 years from the presidency of Fidel Ramos, Estrada and Arroyo. It however succeeded to sign a final accord with the Aquino administration after the signing of the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro (CAB) in April 2013. The latter was the basis of the draft BBL submitted to the congress last October 2014.
What does the proposed BBL offer?
The draft BBL, after much delayed, has already been submitted by the office of the president to the congress as an urgent bill. It took 4 months for the OP to study and a month of joint review and revision with the MILF before a final version was agreed.
It can be safe to presume that the final version is a good legal framework, the fact that the MILF accepted it. The congress will further scrutinize the BBL and make the final draft. They (congress) will hold consultations and public hearings to “listen” to the people.
According to a senator, the BBL will undergo screening tests from the congress (both the senate and the house) and the Supreme Court and finally from the people. The senate is curious on the question of constitutionality while the lower house will look at the contentious provisions. The people will decide to approve or disapprove the Basic Law in a plebiscite. While the senator is optimistic that the BBL will be ultimately passed, he is not sure how many percent of the original draft submitted by the president will hold.
What are in the BBL that are not in RA 9054?
Are the differences or gaps substantial that they can make a difference in the lives of the Bangsamoro? In the power-sharing scheme, it is said that the draft BBL has broader powers than what is available in RA 9054. In terms of wealth-sharing, the BM would have more shares in the mineral resources and additional sources of revenues. It has a block grant similar to the IRA of local government units that is regularly and automatically appropriated to the BM government.
Moreover, it would be provided with additional funding support that would hasten socio-economic development in this region that has been left behind due to intermittent conflicts and malgovernance in most of the last five decades. With more powers and resources come more responsibilities. “This is the advantage as well as the duty of those who will be leading the Bangsamoro in the years to come..
It has a government structure that is perceived to be culturally appropriate to the Bangsamoro and which can generate more inclusive and broader representation in governance. There is a substantial increase in the number of assembly people from that of the RLA. The creation of the council of leaders is a new structure.

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CSO’s in Mindanao Support the Draft BBL

CSO’s in Mindanao Support the Draft BBL

Posted on 27 January 2015 by Farj

“What We Believe is the Best Scenario for the Bangsamoro”

Position Paper of the Consortium of Bangsamoro Civil Society (CBCS)
The proposed BBL (HB 4994) shall be viewed from the perspective of resolving Continue Reading

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