Presidential candidate Mar Roxas made a brief forum with selected leaders of the civil society organization in Cotabato City. The forum was organized by Friends of Peace headed by his eminence Orlando Cardinal Quevedo and Mr. Guiamel Alim who was also a member convener of the group held at the Bishop Palace here in Cotabato City the other day.
It was a short but relevant and focus issues had been substantially discussed in the forum if he wins as president of the Philippines come May 9, 2016 election.
Foremost of the issues tackled as advanced by Mr. Bobby Benito was secretary Roxas’s plan on the peace processes especially of the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) which 16th Congress of the Philippines failed to enact. He had categorical response that the matter was among the important peace program under the “Daang Matuwid” which he will continue. He explains that: “the basic foundation of the negotiation is the FAB (Framework Agreement on the Bangsamoro) and the CAB (Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro) and that the only matter is how it will be expressed into law.” He further emphasized that: “the next step is to identify the flaws and where it went wrong and address those problems”.
On another issue, Mike Kulat from the Consortium of Bangsamoro Civil Society (CBCS) reiterated that the report of the Transitional Justice and Reconciliation Commission (TJRC) which was tasked to study deeply the predicament of the Bangsamoro people rooted on the historical injustices against them. The report he said “gives full details of the so-called historical injustices”. He then asked Secretary Roxas if he would care to ask for “a public apology” for these centuries’ old injustices to the Bangsamoro People should he win as president.
After a deep pause, secretary Roxas managed to say: “What happened in the past are very unfortunate and regrettable. The hardships and travail is unimaginable.” However he stressed that: “I believed that words of apology are not enough and that as an action-man I think that action is more appropriate and that this is to mean what were lost must be returned” to the Moro People.
Also the issue of “Muslim na mananakop” was advanced by Yusoph Lumambas, secretary general of UNYPAD. Secretary Roxas was prompt to explain that “the matter is a wrong use of words.” And continued to elaborate that after the incidence it came into his mind referring to the unfortunate Zamboanga City Siege by some elements of the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) that even the word MNLF is not even appropriate much more the word Muslim. He gave an example of the MNLF under Chairman Datu Muslimen Sema who are not part of the incidence.
On the issue of what would people of Mindanao expects if he win as president he had substantially discussed what the present administration did, complete with facts and figures which he planned to continue and expand under the his administration.
By: CBCS Secretariat