In the Name of God, the Beneficent, the Merciful
Bangsamoro Platform for Unity and Solidarity (BM-PUSH)
C/O Consortium of Bangsamoro Civil Society (CBCS)
KFI Compound, Dona Pilar St., Poblacion IV, Cotabato City,
Tel. No.: (064) 421 1686, Email Add: firstname.lastname@example.org
December 8, 2016
H.E. DR. YUSUF BIN AHMAD AL-OTHAIMEEN
The Secretary General
Organization of Islamic Cooperation
Assalamu Alaikum Wa Rahmatullahi Wa Barakatuhu!
We are participants in the “Bangsamoro Multi-Sectoral Leaders’ Summit for Unity and Solidarity: Towards Creating a Platform for Consensus-Building among Bangsamoro Stakeholders” held on December 5 – 9, 2016 in Davao City. We are leaders of various Bangsamoro civil society organizations, academe, sultanates, religious and other organized groups. As such, we are significant stakeholders of the Bangsamoro peace processes.
We fully agree with the position of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) that there is an imperative for the two Bangsamoro Fronts to work together towards attaining a just conclusion of their legitimate struggle. We take note of the statement of your excellency on December 12, 2015, where you urged “the leaders of both the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) to consolidate their coordination and cooperation through the Bangsamoro Coordination Forum (BCF) and to engage other stakeholders in order to close ranks, strengthen and consolidate their cooperation and unity and maintain their peaceful struggle for the common cause”.
The OIC has been instrumental in the negotiation of the MNLF and the Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GPH) since the very start of the peace process until the signing of the 1996 Final Peace Agreement and even the Tripartite Review. For this, we are truly grateful.
Moreover, the OIC has facilitated the coming together of MILF Chairman Murad Ebrahim Al Haj and MNLF Chairman Prof. Nur Misuari on May 18, 2010, when they signed the Dushanbe Agreement in Tajikistan. In this historic meeting, both leaders agreed that “unity is indispensable to the success of the Bangsamoro struggle”. They also agreed to establish a mechanism for coordination between their respective organizations which eventually became the Bangsamoro Coordination Forum (BCF). Thereafter, the OIC continued to support the BCF and has hosted several meetings between the Fronts.
In recent developments, the Government of the Republic of the Philippines has laid down a roadmap outlining how it will deal with the two Fronts is separate and parallel tracks. Such tracks are expected to produce two separate draft laws that are designed to create/strengthen autonomy for the Bangsamoro. However, there is no clear mechanism where the two tracks meet and converge for a stronger and unified position prior to the submission of the draft laws to Philippine Congress.
In line with these facts, we believe that:
1. The MNLF and the MILF have high level of trust on the OIC;
2. The OIC has religious ties with the Bangsamoro; and
3. The OIC has a friendly diplomatic relationship with the Government of the Philippines.
Consistent with the continuing and persistent calls for unity from various sectors of society, and recognizing the essential role of the OIC, we are therefore appealing for your urgent and sustained support to assert your moral persuasion to help fast track the unity of the MNLF and MILF. Such unity will pave the way toward a unified law that will lead to stronger governance, and eventually to the attainment of the Bangsamoro right to self-determination.
We shall be blessed by Your Excellency’s favorable and timely response to this request, InshaAllah. JazakAllahu Khair.
NOTE: Original document was signed by One Hundred Nineteen (119) delegates.