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Posted on 12 October 2014 by cbcs_mike

Fifty five leaders of the Consortium of Bangsamoro Civil Society (CBCS) coming from heads of Non-Government Organizations (NGOs) and Peoples Organization (POs) in southeast-central Mindanao areas in their assembly of leaders held at Em Manor Hotel in Cotabato City on October 9 – 10, 2014.


The main purpose of the CBCS Assembly of Leaders was concretely stipulated in their theme: “CBCS AT 12: Looking Back, Moving Forward and Strengthening its Capacity Towards Building Resilient Bangsamoro” that gave whole picture of the flow of the two day assembly. Following the theme, CBCS Administrative Officer in his rationale thresh back significant and general milestone of accomplishments for the last 12 years existence. While Guiamel Alim, CBCS Chairperson emphasized the current political situation and laid down important issues that needs to be responded both collectively as CBCS member networks and as individual organization in their respective areas of operation especially on the aspect of accompanying the peace process towards the establishment of Bangsamoro government.

In an attempt to guide its delegates, they invited resource person particularly on the current status of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) which will be abolished and transferred to the Bangsamoro Transition Authority should the negotiation goes well. The ARMM feature, structures, programs and plans was presented by Engr. Mlang Utto Madal, Assistant Executive Director – RPDO-ARMM. And fortunately, he emphasized that there is substantial transitional programs being implemented in ARMM to allow smooth transition from ARMM to the proposed Bangsamoro Transition Authority.

Another, important matter that had been usually neglected is the issue of the MNLF, the 1996 Final Peace Agreement and the current Tripartite Review which must have place in the perceived closure part of the GPH-MILF Peace Talks. On this, CBCS invited Datu Romeo Sema, Head Secretariat of the Moro National Liberation Front who gave overview of the GRP-MNLF Agreement and its dynamics that lead to the current review process. He however ended with optimism of having chance of harmonizing the GRP-MNLF 1996 Final Peace Agreement (FPA) and the current GPH-MILF Peace Talks outcome through the recently established Bangsamoro Coordinating Forum (BCF) composed of ranking officers of the MNLF and MILF. Among those provisions in the MNLF demand and the Bangsamoro Basic Law is in the issue of Bangsamoro Territory where accordingly the MNLF stick to the claim of 13 provinces and 9 cities while in the MILF Peace Process confined the core territory to the ARMM provinces which is composed of 5 provinces, one city and those will opt to join in a plebiscite.

In an attempt to have birds eye-view of the future of the Bangsamoro through the envisioned programming was presented by Mr. Windel Diangcalan of the Bangsamoro Development Agency (BDA) who presented the process, strategy and the outcome of the Bangsamoro Development Plan (BDP) that will give impetus to the letter and spirit of the Bangsamoro Basic Law.

In conclusion, the CBCS Leaders Assembly was able to identify important issues addressed among others (1) Statement of Support to the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law now under deliberations by Congress (2) formation of CBCS “Islamic Spiritual” Advisers (3) Statement of Support to the MILF-MNLF’s Bangsamoro Coordinating Forum (4) Continuing discussion and consultations on possible forming a “Political Party” in preparation for an envisioned Bangsamoro government.

By Mark Hussain

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