Archive | May, 2017


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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Bangsamoro – The Stony Path to Peace

Posted on 19 May 2017 by cbcs_mike

Mediating in conflicts between cultural, religious and ethnic groups in the Bangsamoro region, which sometimes persist across generations, is one of the key tasks of civil society organisations. Source: Consortium of Bangsamoro Civil Society Inc.

Mediating in conflicts between cultural, religious and ethnic groups in the Bangsamoro region, which sometimes persist across generations, is one of the key tasks of civil society organisations. Source: Consortium of Bangsamoro Civil Society Inc.

[The Authors: Elmar Noé has been a desk officer in the Asia Department of MISEREOR – the German Catholic Bishops’ Organisation for Development Cooperation – since 2002. Since 2008 he has been responsible for MISEREOR’s cooperation with partner organisations in the Philippines.
Elisabeth Strohscheidt has been a MISEREOR desk officer for peace research and conflict transformation since 2012. Prior to that she spent almost 10 years as a desk officer for human rights in what was then MISEREOR’s department for development policy issues.]

In late 2015, the highly promising peace process in the Muslim-dominated regions of Mindanao suffered a severe setback. The Congress of the Philippines delayed its vote on the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) for so long that it was no longer possible to reach a decision during President Aquino’s time in office. The Muslim population in Mindanao in particular were profoundly disappointed by the failure to pass the BBL. The fact that this disappointment did not result in violence was thanks largely to the vigorous efforts of civil society actors. Throughout the years of negotiation they kept working to make the process transparent. This made a significant contribution towards the acceptance of the process among the population.

Mediating in conflicts between cultural, religious and ethnic groups in the Bangsamoro region, which sometimes persist across generations, is one of the key tasks of civil society organisations. Source: Consortium of Bangsamoro Civil Society Inc.

Mediating in conflicts between cultural, religious and ethnic groups in the Bangsamoro region, which sometimes persist across generations, is one of the key tasks of civil society organisations. Source: Consortium of Bangsamoro Civil Society Inc.

Another reason why violence did not ensue is that large sections of the parties to the conflict – both Muslim groups and elements within the army – have grown tired of war. Furthermore, during the years of negotiation a solid foundation of trust has arisen between fighters of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) and the army. As a result, ceasefires that were agreed did hold even in critical situations, and the two sides were able to establish working channels of communication. The fact that following the failure of the BBL in Congress the two sides’ negotiating delegations very quickly resumed the dialogue was an important step in at least consolidating the results of the negotiations achieved until that point.

The election of Rodrigo Duterte as President of the Philippines raised hopes in many quarters that he could bring fresh and positive momentum to the peace process. Eight months after Duterte took up office, however, the obstacles along the stony path to peace are now becoming evident.

On 7 November President Duterte signed Executive Order No. 8, which extended the mandate of the Bangsamoro Transition Commission (BTC). With new and more members, the BTC is now mandated to revise the BBL by July 2017, in time for Duterte’s next State of the Nation Address. The revision will not only take account of the interests of hitherto neglected groups; it will also respond to criticisms and queries raised by various Representatives and Senators concerning the existing draft of the BBL.

Obstacles and stumbling blocks in the process

It took over three months for the 21 members of the BTC to be appointed on 10 February 2017. Ten
members were nominated by the government and eleven by the MILF. The precise details of the selection process are poorly transparent, however, even for those on the inside. While the MILF clearly nominated members from amongst its own ranks, the government also introduced members of groups that had not previously been represented on the BTC or involved in the peace negotiations, such as the so-called Sema faction of the MNLF, as well as representatives of local government units, the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM), Christian settlers and the non-islamised indigenous peoples. While this diversity in the makeup of the BTC is certainly a step towards greater inclusivity, it also harbours risks. It is not clear, for instance, to what extent the appointed members are accepted as representatives of their respective groups. The expanded and newly configured group is also likely to find it difficult to reach joint positions, particularly given the time pressure that exists.

While the MNLF’s Sema faction is willing to participate in the current further negotiations based on the BBL, other factions of the MNLF reject this. The government has therefore embarked on parallel negotiations with the MNLF faction centred around its founder Nur Misuari, which build on its negotiations to implement the Final Peace Agreement of 1996. It is now envisaged that the Nur Misuari faction of the MNLF will produce its own draft autonomy law by July 2017.

The most likely outcome of these two parallel negotiation processes is that both drafts will be submitted to the Congress in July, at which point the Congress will then need to merge them into a single draft. This is an extremely ambitious undertaking with manifold risks. Right now it is an entirely open question how the population of the Bangsamoro region and the parties to the conflict would react to a compromise that might represent the lowest common denominator, and omit key elements of the 2015 draft of the BBL.

One of President Duterte’s key aims is a constitutional reform designed to bolster federal structures. This might also jeopardise the acceptance of a revised BBL. Observers fear that those elements in the existing draft BBL which some members of the Congress categorised as unconstitutional will be removed from the revised draft, to be addressed later in the context of a constitutional reform. These include among other things territorial issues, issues of sovereignty over particular natural resources, as well as issues of domestic security and the possibility of taking out international loans. If such issues are excluded from the negotiations and deferred until they can be discussed in the context of federal structures, then in practice this could lead to the deferral of decision-making on important components of the BBL for an indefinite period. It is to be feared that such a delay would lead to disappointment, and create fertile ground for further radicalisation in the Bangsamoro region.

Even now the region is already experiencing an increase in the frequency of attacks by radical Islamist groups and terrorist organisations such as the Maute group, the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters and Abu Sayyaf. Further growth in the strength of these groups could pose a serious threat to the peace process. Partner organisations of MISEREOR in Mindanao identify as the driving force of radicalisation among young Muslims not foreign influence (wielded e.g. by IS or other extreme Sunni elements), but rather frustration with a protracted peace process marred by setbacks.
Moreover, violent conflicts between clans and family feuds (Rido) that persist across generations remain a serious threat to peace.

Mechanisms and institutions providing support

If the peace process is to succeed it is crucial that Congress Representatives in Manila and the population at large are brought on board with the process – even though this will be difficult, given the aforementioned time pressure. Among others, the peace tables currently being set up in various regions (North Cotabato, Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao have been mentioned) can and should support this. So far little is known about how these peace tables will actually be organised or how they will operate. As of mid-February, they had still not been officially set up. This much would seem clear: it is envisaged that they will serve as public sounding boards – also for those groups and sections of the population that are not represented on the BTC or in the peace negotiations.

Furthermore, the BTC will be supported by a kind of advisory body – the Bangsamoro Assembly. The assembly will advise the BTC on formulating the new draft law, and ensure the participation of more sections of the population and stakeholder groups in the Bangsamoro region. Like the peace tables, this assembly has also yet to be set up. Both processes, the assembly and the peace tables, could help support the inclusivity of the process. It remains unclear how this could be achieved in just five months, however.

Known and proven international mechanisms to support the peace process – such as the International Contact Group, the International Monitoring Team, the Independent Decommissioning Body and the Tripartite Monitoring Team – remain in place, at least on paper. At present they are inactive, however, and there is no clear indication as to their new role or current mandate. This is because, officially, the task is now no longer to hammer out the peace agreement, but to implement it. We must also assume that under Duterte, the Filipino government’s appreciation of international monitoring and advisory mechanisms will decline perceptibly. This does not make them any less important, however. On the contrary. Particularly during the current transitional phase the mechanisms for monitoring ceasefire agreements and for supporting ‘normalisation’ are of paramount importance for preventing any repeated flare-ups of violence – or documenting them when they do occur. This applies to both international and local mechanisms alike.

Civil society in the Philippines – A key factor for peace

In this fragile situation it is especially important that civil society organisations continue their work to shed light on the context and causes of the conflict, and provide information on the peace process. Social media are playing an increasingly important role in this setting. The peace talks are only likely to succeed if broad sections of the population are brought on board. The many civil society organisations large and small in the Philippines that have spent not just years but decades working for peace without becoming disheartened deserve recognition, respect and support. They have played a crucial role in ensuring that more people in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region are now able to live in peace, and that despite numerous setbacks there are now prospects for lasting peace.

Particularly regarding the attitudes of the Christian population in the Bangsamoro region, it is important to create an understanding of the fact that one key concern of the Muslim population of Mindanao is gaining acknowledgement of the injustice suffered – rather than retribution or restoration of the pre-colonial status quo. The Christian population are highly mistrustful of the peace process, and very anxious regarding possible outcomes of the negotiations that might marginalise them. The Catholic Church in particular must exercise a high degree of responsibility here. This is why the Oblate Missionary Foundation (OMF) has launched dialogue processes in many Catholic parishes in the Diocese of Cotabato, one of the regions of Mindanao hardest hit by the civil war. In this setting OMF has found that preconceptions can already be reduced by familiarising the Christian inhabitants of Mindanao with the true history of the region. So far this has not even been taught in schools. Nor are the Congress Representatives in faraway Manila, who will take the final decisions on draft legislation such as the BBL, aware of this history. Modifying curricula accordingly would therefore be a relatively simple and obvious measure to counter the formation of prejudices – which underpin and foment structural and physical violence.


During the election campaign Duterte had promised the Muslim population reparation. He comes from Mindanao himself. This was one important reason why so many people in Mindanao voted for him. ‘With his huge political and social capital, President Duterte can achieve a great deal. He can make the peace process succeed – or fail.’ So we were told recently by one of MISEREOR’s Muslim partners. There is now considerable reason to doubt, however, whether Duterte really understands the Moros’ desire for acknowledgement of the injustice they have suffered, and it remains to be seen how strong his commitment to a lasting peace in the Bangsamoro region and the whole of Mindanao really is. Consequently, Duterte’s recent decision to end the peace talks with the National Democratic Front (which had been resumed with such enthusiasm) as soon as the process hit difficulties, his lifting of the unilaterally declared ceasefire and his immediate declaration of ‘total war’ against the New People’s Army (NPA), give grounds for concern. By taking these steps he has also de facto accepted the more recent escalation in violence in parts of Mindanao. The fact that Duterte also tramples on human rights and that his so-called war on drugs has already cost thousands of people their lives risks brutalising society and making violence even more socially acceptable as a seemingly legitimate means of resolving conflicts. In this connection, the director of a Catholic partner organisation of MISEREOR in the Cotabato region has urgently requested MISEREOR to continue providing support and solidarity. ‘Please continue supporting us [...] in whatever way you can. Ultimately we are all human beings, and all members of the same family of humankind. [...] We must work together to make this world a peaceful and beautiful place in which each and every one of us can be happy.’ As well as greater mutual understanding, institutional reforms, structural change and greater social cohesion will be key to the success of the Bangsamoro peace process. We must continue working together to achieve these goals.

[This article was originally published in Germany through German language and translated into English by John D Cochrane in cooperation with MISEREOR]

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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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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 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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