Delegates of the Peace Summit said the best tribute to all those who died in the Mamasapano encounter would be to bring lasting peace in Mindanao by allowing the peace process to move forward and for human development and social justice to flourish.
The Peace Summit that was held on April 18 was organized by the Citizens Peace Council, a body convened by the Aquino administration to review the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) and help the public understand the proposed measure.
The Peace Council attended the congressional hearing on BBL on Monday and submitted its findings on its review to the proposed legislation that will establish an autonomous political entity for the Bangsamoro people.
The group said they recognized that the incident in Mamasapano “dealt a huge blow to peace process” and as a result, “the public’s view of the BBL was unfortunately colored by a lack of trust towards the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) both as the government’s negotiation partner and as future leaders of the Bangsamoro.”
The bloody incident claimed the lives of 44 police commandoes, 17 Mujaheedins and three civilians. It further resurrected the mistrust and bigotry towards the Moros. The MILF and Muslims are tagged terrorists, murderers, or traitors in the commentary sections of online news items.
Along with this was the mounting call for the scrapping of the BBL while others call for the all-out-war against the MILF. BBL critics viewed the measure as “unconstitutional.”
The government peace panel that was bent to save the peace process was criticized and accused of siding with the MILF.
“At the Summit, the delegates saw the need for both the public and our lawmakers to transform the incident into a challenge – that the best tribute to all those who died in Mamasapano would be to bring lasting peace in Mindanao by allowing the peace process to move forward and for human development and social justice to flourish,” the Peace Council report said.
Former Chief Justice Hilario Davide, peace council original member, told the congressmen of their findings on the contentious issues of the BBL as follows:
A.The BBL does not vest statehood to the Bangsamoro Government. The provisions on “people,” “territory,” and “self-determination” are not vestiges of a separate state, but are consistent with the constitutionally mandated creation of autonomous regions.
B. The Bangsamoro Government, as constituted in the BBL, is compliant with the requirements of the Constitution. The government, with an executive department and legislative assembly, has officers that are elective and representative of the constituent political units.
C. The inter-governmental relation between the National Government and the Bangsamoro Government is consistent with the allocation of powers mandated by the Constitution. The defined relationship between the National Government and the Bangsamoro Government embodies the essence of genuine autonomy, based on principles of subsidiarity and solidarity.
D. The Supreme Court and the Constitutional Bodies continue to maintain the powers that are given them under the Constitution. There is neither substitution nor diminution of powers intended or effected by the creation of the Bangsamoro human rights, auditing, civil service, and electoral offices.
E. The plebiscite requirement in the BBL adheres to the provision of the Constitution on the process for creation of the autonomous region.