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Posted on 13 October 2014 by cbcs_mike

More than fifty (50) leaders of various sector embarked on a two-day focus and deeper study session on the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) now being deliberated in Congress which was held at one of the prominent hotel here in Cotabato City on October 11 – 12, 2014.

Mr. Sinichi Masuda, JICAs Chief Operation Officer delivering his message of support to the study session

Mr. Sinichi Masuda, JICAs Chief Operation Officer delivering his message of support to the study session

The Bangsamoro sectoral leaders were composed of civil society leaders (CSOs), academe both secular and Islamic learned, the traditional leaders like Datu and Sultans, professionals, women and youth coming primarily in the cities of Cotabato, Marawi and in the provinces of Maguindanao, North Cotabato and Lanao del Sur. There were also some leaders coming from outside of the Bangsamoro Core Territory as far as Zamboanga del Sur and Pagadian City. In checking the expectations of the participants it was obvious that there is really that need for more understanding of the BBL both in letter and spirit even at the level of educated ones.

The study session dubbed as: “MCSOPP REGIONAL STRATEGY: BANGSAMORO BASIC LAW STUDY SESSION”. MCSOPP stands for Mindanao Civil Society Organization Platform for Peace, a loose formation of different NGOs and POs that culled its mandate to help the Bangsamoro Transition Commission (BTC) in its works especially in the information and consultative component. The formal tie up with MCSOPP Chaired by Guiamel Alim, Chairman of the Consortium of Bangsamoro Civil Society (CBCS) with BTC Chair Mohagher Iqbal was embodied in a Term or Reference (TOR) signed last December 17, 2013.

In his opening overview, Mr. Guiamel Alim pointed out the tasks done by MCSOPP prior to the drafting of the BBL in consulting the grass-root communities and every sector of the Bangsamoro in the proposed Bangsamoro Core Territory to be covered by the envisioned new Bangsamoro political entity and which in turned was submitted to the BTC during the drafting period. He further emphasized that: “now that the BBL is in congress, we wanted to make sure that there is a widest consultation and information campaigns in order to involve the public on the process.” And he added: “our main purpose in these regional study sessions and to be conducted in different strategic areas in Mindanao is to address public misconceptions on BBL owing to lack of information and that you as participants are envisioned to become resource persons in your own respective areas of operation.” He also gave input on the regional situation within the proposed Bangsamoro core territories during the study session proper.

In the second day of the session more intensive interactions between the main resource person, BTC Commissioner Atty. Raissa Jajurie who was deeply involved in the negotiation a multi-task function as legal adviser/consultant, technical working group to MILF Panel and as Commissioner of the BTC. This is the reason why the participants found satisfaction in their interaction proper as their clarifications, queries and comments were duly responded basing her responses from the provisions of BBL. In her presentation of BBL provision by provision gave much learning to the eagerness of the participants.

The study session ended with identifying critical stage of the peace process particularly the BBL and defined their corresponding needed advocacy as well as how the individual leaders will be able to implement their learning within their respective organization or sectors.

By Mike Kulat

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