Archive | April, 2017


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 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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