Categorized | Darussalam, Featured

CBCS-UNICEF Support GPH-MILF Peace Process: “NOW, WE KNOW” Communities in ARMM shared their thoughts on Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) and Comprehensive Agreement on Bangsamoro (CAB)

Posted on 09 September 2014 by Musa

Cotabato City/September 9, 2014: CBCS through Darussalam, a UNICEF supported project holds series of information drive, an orientation on Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro (CAB) and Bangsamoro Basic law (BBL) in seven (7) pre-selected Municipalities in ARMM, covering areas of Parang, Mamasapano, South Upi and North Upi in Maguindanao while in Island Province are Parang, Siasi in Sulu and Languyan in Tawi-Tawi.


The activities were aimed to support the on-going peace-talks between GPH and MILF through popularization of the peace mechanisms and agreements such as FAB, CAB and BBL at the community level that will eventually pave the worries and reservations of many people when Bangsamoro Government is finally installed. At the same time the project will generate input from the community, particularly on issues affecting women and children.

A close to one thousand (1000) individuals across 7 municipalities were able to engage in a discussion with the resource persons from CBCS, headed by Mike Kulat. It has drawn a lot of questions and commentaries from different stakeholders particularly representatives from IP (Indigenous Peoples) communities in South and North Upi, Maguindanao.

In Brgy Rempes in Upi, one of the participants asked the resource person “Are we obliged to wear Hijab? What happens to our rights as IP under UNDRIP (United Declarations on the Rights of the Indigenous Peoples) principles?. She further disclosed “this development also inflicts fear among us T’duray people even before the FAB was formally approved and agreed by both GPH and MILF that is why, we want to be educated and informed on matters that will affect our identity as IP and we warmly appreciate this effort from CBCS for reaching out our community to shed light those worries I have mentioned earlier” she added. In response to the queries, the resource person pointed out no less than 20 various provisions of the FAB that recognized and respects the rights of the Indigenous Peoples. Among which are “the freedom of choice of other Indigenous peoples shall be respected”, “customary rights and traditions of indigenous peoples shall be taken into consideration”, “Vested property rights shall be recognized and respected” and the “parity of esteem” principles. These are only few of the provisions that safeguard those fears and apprehension of the IPs.

“All instruments and principles embodied and stipulated in the FAB, CAB and BBL are all within the ambit of the State Policies and principles including Philippine Constitution to which one of those, is the recognition of the IPs on its rights over their lands, customary practices, justice system and among others, it also includes the articulation to pay respect to instruments that safeguards the rights and welfare of the IPs” The resource person, Mohamad Omar responded the query.

The said activity has just ended last August 15, 2014 in barangay Kibleg, North Upi in Maguindanao.

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