Wednesday, November 30, 2016

MILF: Peace advocacy on Bangsamoro should reach larger Filipino audiences: Academe

Posted to the Moro Islamic Liberation Front Website (Nov 30): Peace advocacy on Bangsamoro should reach larger Filipino audiences: Academe

In order to gain more support for the Bangsamoro quest for self-determination, a Moro university professor urged the Bangsamoro Civil Society Organization (CSO) leaders to heighten the peace advocacy works reaching out larger Filipino audiences.

“There is a need to reach out to larger Filipino audiences who still hold biases and animosities towards the Bangsamoro people,” said Professor Rufa C. Guiam of Mindanao State University-General Santos during the Bangsamoro CSO Leaders Consultation & Workshop on Mindanao Peace Process held at Davao City on November 21-25, 2016.

Guiam noted there is less understanding on the Bangsamoro history and issues since “those are not taught in schools.”

She told the consultation delegates to exert more efforts to pitch the grassroots peace initiatives which usually do not reach the national level.

Guiam was one of the key facilitators of the consultation workshop attended by representatives from peace advocates groups, academe, Ulama, media, youth, and line agencies coming from mainland Mindanao and the island provinces.

“What we need is to promote wide awareness with the peace process,” Guiam said. “We want to radiate that enthusiasm and commitment with people who do not have belief on what we do,” she added.

The activity provided an opportunity for the Bangsamoro CSO leaders to craft their plan to push for the passage of an enabling law to be crafted by the expanded Bangsamoro Transition Commission (BTC) which will provide the establishment of the desired Bangsamoro autonomous political entity.

The draft law will be forwarded to the Philippine Congress for its passage. During the stint of President Noynoy Aquino, the original members of the BTC drafted the Bangsamoro Basic Law and (BBL), an enabling law submitted to Congress and Senate.  However the lawmakers failed to pass the BBL.

The drafting of BBL by the BTC and its passage by the Philippine Congress are stipulated in the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro (CAB), a peace accord signed by the Government of the Philippines (GPH) and Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) in 2014 after more than 17 years of peace negotiations.

Guiam said the CSOs should have a united movement to push the passage of the enabling law and be actively engaged in strong lobbying in the two Chambers of Congress.

She said advocacy on CAB-BBL, media campaign to support the peace process and study sessions with policy makers should involve the CSOs.

The university professor further suggested to the audiences that there should be identified CSO representatives that will participate “in case there is a TWG at the Congress.”

The activity, organized by the Consortium of Bangsamoro Civil Society with the support of Japan International Cooperation Agency, was aimed to build solidarity and consensus among Moro leaders in pursuing lasting peace in Mindanao.

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