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CSO FORUM AND REFLECTION ON THE NEW BLBAR

Posted on 04 August 2015 by cbcs_mike

Forty four civil society organization (CSOs) leaders converged in a one-day forum <!–more–> aimed at a deeper understanding of the new version of the Bangsamoro Basic Law called Basic Law of the Bangsamoro (BL-BAR) sponsored by the Consortium of Bangsamoro Civil Society (CBCS) . The participants came from different provinces of south-western Mindanao particularly from Zamboanga del Sur, Zamboanga-Sibugay, Zamboanga City, Basilan, Sulu and Tawi-Tawi which was held at Camila Hotel in Pagdian City on June 29, 2015.

A souvenir Photo of the CSO Leaders from Western Mindanao

A souvenir Photo of the CSO Leaders from Western Mindanao

The forum was triggered by the recent controversial developments on the much-talked envisioned Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) being result of the 17 years peace process between the Government of the Philippines (GPH) and Moro Islamic Liberations Front (MILF). The growing concerns among the CSOs was heightened after the 75-Man AdHoc Committee on Bangsamoro Basic Law in the House of Representatives done approving a new version of the original BBL draft that dramatically alter its content in letter and spirit. In fact the original BBL version as certified urgent by the President was embodied in House of Representative’s HB 4994 and House of Senate SB 2408 with a title “Bangsamoro Basic Law” (BBL) and is now changed into HB 5811 with a title “Basic Law of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region” (BL-BAR).

In his message and overview of the forum, CBCS Chairperson Guiamel Alim gave a brief historical background of the Bangsamoro struggle for self-determination and self-governance including its dynamics that started for clamour for independent but recently agreed to settle under autonomous arrangements. However, even BBL that defines autonomous status of the Bangsamoro are passing through tight “bottlenecks” that posed possibilities of having a mangled BBL and unacceptable to the Bangsamoro as well.

The highlight of the Forum was the input from BTC Commissioner Atty. Raissa Jajurie who comprehensively pointed out major points and provisions of the BBL that are changed, inserted or deleted in the new BL-BAR. Atty Jajurie started presenting of the changes aside from the title and bill number, preceded with the changes in the Preamble down to the last article.
More importantly, the resource person was able to stress the importance of each provision changed, deleted or insertion made coupled with the corresponding immediate implications to the original BBL and its long time effect to the lives of the Bangsamoro as a whole was explicitly explained to the participants.

Through the open forum, the group was able to level-off on making a motherhood statement as their general guide of each individual or group advocacy in their own respective areas of coverage. The clear and unified advocacy that will be carried by the clustered CSOs in their respective districts in many parts of western Mindanao areas was identified.

The learning and acquired knowledge in the forum as well as the agreed strategies will be used by the participating CSO leaders as bases in formulating letters, position papers or resolutions in an aim to influence the public, the media especially the members of the Congress to pass a law that is in conformity with signed agreements on Framework Agreement on Bangsamoro (FAB) and the Comprehensive Agreement on Bangsamoro (CAB) on October 15, 2012 and March 27, 2014 respectively.

By Mike Kulat

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