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Posted on 01 April 2015 by cbcs_mike

Fifty one multi-sectoral key leaders’ convergence of Bangsamoro communities in General Santos City and surrounding provinces successfully conducted <!–more–> a one-day peace forum on the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) held at La Tuna Grill and Restaurant, General Santos City on March 28, 2015.

Participants coming from Bangsamoro various sectors listens during the a Peace Forum on BBL in General Santos City

Participants coming from Bangsamoro various sectors listens during the a Peace Forum on BBL in General Santos City

The activity was organized by the Consortium of Bangsamoro Civil Society (CBCS) led by its Cluster II Area Coordinator Ustadz Ebrahim Sandigan in cooperation with MCDOI of Prof. Morie Guiam, MWAGG and the Multi-Sectoral groups. The participants are coming from the Royal House of Sugoda Buayan headed by Rajahmuda Abdulhamid Ingkong, the Academe and professionals led by Dr. Janina Tito – PhD, the Ulama/Asatidz led by Sheik Abdulbayan Laguialam , the Muslim Women Organization of Gensan (MOWGEN), the civil society organizations, the MNLF represented By Danny Salisipan, the MILF group led by Adam Pokeg. Representative from Media and some Christian representatives also attended the forum. The activity was facilitated by Ms Aida Aida Seddic.

The program started with the opening prayer, followed by welcome message by Rajahmuda Abdulhamid Ingkong who extended gratitude to CBCS in involving their group in the forum and hoped all important activities related to the Bangsamoro issues, the Royal House of Buayan will be part of. Who ended his message in welcoming all the participants and stressed that: “In behalf of the Royal House of Sugoda Buayan, we are committing full and unconditional support to the passage of the unadulterated proposed BBL” as stipulated in HB 4994 and Senate Bill 2408.

This was followed by a brief input delivered by Ismael Kulat, CBCS Senior Program Officer and Peacebuilding Coordinator entitled: “The Bangsamoro Basic Law: Its Status, Perspectives and Challenges”. The presentation stressed a brief recollection of past struggle of the Bangsamoro from the time of colonization up to the current period, the corresponding political and incremental gains both tangible and intangible of the 494 years struggle of which are now culminated in the much hoped Bangsamoro governance that will be established through the now in Congress controversial Bangsamoro Basic Law. The resource person pointed out that the political economic, social and cultural civilization of the Moro People is being considered “earliest civilization developed in Asia” that made them acclaimed as “first nation”.

However, the advent of Bangsamoro colonization by waves of invaders for nearly 5-Centuries, the nation-state status was devastated that constitutes “national oppression and injustice” against them. Precisely, this was the intent and purposes of the BBL is to preserved what was left of the heritage of the Bangsamoro without necessarily detaching from the Philippine government and sovereignty through the “asymmetrical relationships” Mr. Kulat added.

Dr. Janina Tito in reaction to the presentation and she laid down the many apprehensions and challenges on the perspective of the Bangsamoro Basic Law, stressed: “Even in the level of Bangsamoro, we don’t know how many are in favor and how many are against the BBL? Will the constituencies and geographical coverage of the Bangsamoro government be lesser or more than the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM)? And most importantly of what degree BBL be watered down or diluted in Congress, we don’t know?” She however agreed on the input that “independence is a goal where there is no short-cut road to it but rather achieved through step by step approach.” And she ended with emphasis on the importance of the roles to be played by academe through schools, colleges and universities in the current advocacy especially in correcting misinformation on the BBL since they are holding thousands of pupils, students and personnel as permanent constituencies.

The activity concluded with an open forum where various issues and concerns on BBL were properly discussed with the participants and ended with discussion of the ways forward facilitated by Ammier Dodo, the CBCS Advocacy Officer that resulted in the formation of the loose “mechanism” composed of key leaders from the participating groups to sustain the advocacy campaign on BBL. The Royal House of Sugoda Buayan committed to conduct a large Symposium in the near future as their way of sharing in promoting and support to the Bangsamoro Basic Law.

By Ustadz Ebrahim Sandigan

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