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Posted on 20 October 2016 by cbcs_mike

Sixty six (66) leaders of the major groupings of the Bangsamoro converged in a Regional Assembly held at El Bajada Hotel, Davao City on October 5 – 7, 2016. The activity was triggered by the new developments in the government and Moro Fronts peace process under the new administration.


The participants in particular belongs to the middle level leaders coming from MILF and MNLF communities, the traditional/political leaders (Sulnate/Datus), religious (Ulama/Asatidz), Moro civil society organization leaders, Professionals, academe women and youth sectors. These leaders are also covering the areas of Central, Southern and Eastern Mindanao where Bangsamoro population is substantial in number.

In his welcome message, CBCS Chairperson Guiamel Alim posed hard questions on the historical injustices against the Bangsamoro as long as they could remember and where are these important stakeholders in those equations? In a way he said: “Can we rise above our tribal differences and parochial interest in favour of the Bangsamoro interest as a whole?”. And added that: “now the Bangsamoro is being challenge by the new developments under the new administration in the peace process which warrants a unified response from the MNLF, MILF, Sultan/Datus, the religious, CSOs, the academe, professionals, women and youth ought to stand up all together.”

The background and importance of the Bangsamoro Leaders Assembly was briefly presented by Mike G. Kulat, CBCS Senior Program Officer, stressed the importance of consultations as one important teaching of Islam in every major decision-making. “The new Duterte administration poses new challenges brought about by its paradigm shift in the peace and development roadmap especially on the Bangsamoro quest for self-determination that needs deeper and levelled off understanding” he stressed. He ended by emphasizing that: “the main goal of the series of consultations and assemblies among the major group leaders of the Bangsamoro is to establish a platform or mechanism of convergence where all the major grouping of the Bangsamoro will be able to discuss freely towards forging common and unified political, economic, socio-cultural agenda.

To give real and updated political status to the participants especially on the current peace processes between the government and the Moro Fronts, important personalities were invited as resource persons.

On the part of the government, Usec Diosita Andot of OPPAP and also member of the GPH-MILF Implementing Panels updated the participants particularly on: “The Peace and Development Roadmap for the Bangsamoro under the New Administration”. Her topic deals on the Six Point Peace and Development Roadmap of Duterte administration and focused on the Two Tracks in pursuit of resolving the Bangsamoro problem. Three specific agenda was stressed by Usec Andot in pursuit of the Bangsamoro peace process which are: (1) Meaningful implementation of the FAB/CAB towards healing in the Bangsamoro (2) Complete implementation of the MNLF agreement of 1996 Final Peace Agreement through the Tripartite Review and (3) Inclusion of the IPRA LAW (RA8371) in crafting the new Bangsamoro enabling Law. This is to be able to make more inclusive law for all constituencies of the envisioned Bangsamoro entity. Usec Andot further revealed that aside from the “inclusive” memberships in the new Bangsamoro Transition Commission (BTC), there will be created a “Peace/Consultative Table” outside of the BTC with members coming from the MILF, MNLF, Sultanates, Indigenous Peoples and Settlers to reinforced the inclusivity of the process.

The MILF is represented by its Implementing Panel Chair Mohagher Iqbal and the MNLF on the other hand was presented by Atty. Randolph Parcasio. Both leaders stressed respectively the salient points and status of the negotiation between them and the government.

From the MILF, Chairman Iqbal stressed that their assertion in the re-start of the negotiation starts with “as is where is” principle. This is to mean the most urgent matter is early establishment of a newly reconstituted and expanded Bangsamoro Transition Commission (BTC). Also emphasized the importance of understanding new paradigm in the peace process from “negotiation to implementation” phase since this is a new development that manifest moving forward of the process.

Atty. Randolph Parcasio for the MNLF Peace Process gave emphasis on the “successes and miseries” of the peace journey with the MNLF. However, he presented the significant developments in the “Tripartite Review” that started in 2007 that concluded in 42 consensus points that would be implemented to conclude the 1996 Final Peace Agreement signed in 1996.

The assembly concluded with the signing of the Regional Assembly Statement that would be brought to the higher summit in the near future in order to establish a platform of convergence for the Bangsamoro at all walks of life.

By Fards Indin

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