Bangsamoro Transition Commission (BTC) Chairman Mohagher Iqbal handed over on Wednesday (June 22) the Commission’s final narrative report to outgoing President Benigno Aquino III in Malacanan Palace.

With the aim in view of continuing the engagement on bloodletting, the Bangsamoro Development Agency-Central Mindanao (BDA-CenMin) released new schedules of Muslim Blood Donation (MBD) for the 3rd & 4th quarters of this year on June 22, 2016.  

Cotabato City – Earlier this holy month of Ramadhan 2016, the UNYPAD-North Cotabato Cluster 2, Maguindanao Cluster 1 and 2 held several Islamic symposia in different municipal chapters in Cotabato and Maguindanao as a tradition of the organization since its inception in 2004.

The Kapalawan Province of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) conducted an Islamic Symposium at Kitulaan High School Convention Hall, Kitulaan, Carmen, North Cotabato on June 18, 2016. 

GPH Peace Panel Chair Prof. Miriam Coronel-Ferrer visited Isabela and Lamitan City, Basilan on May 16, 2016 for a turn-over of a Day Care Center at Baas, Lamitan City and One Unit of Ambulance at Ediborah P. Yap Memorial Hospital, all in Lamitan City.  Both are under the Sajahatra Bangsamoro Program.  He also met with recipients of Sajahatra Bangsamoro Scholarship Program at Basilan State College (BSC) in Isabela City.

Monday, June 13--- Mr. Ola Almgren, UN Resident Coordinator, accompanied by Mr. Chetan Kumar, Peace and Development Advisor, UN Manila and Mr. Winston Camarinas, UNDP-Cotabato paid courtesy call to Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) Chairman Murad Ebrahim and members of the Central Committee.

There has been various new views or proposals on how to translate into law called Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) that is provided for in a political agreement known as Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro (CAB).  This agreement, which contained the political solution to the Bangsamoro Question or Problem, had been signed by the Government of the Philippines (GPH) and Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), in the presence of international personalities, including two heads of state, on March 27, 2014.

In democracy, sovereignty resides in the people, and thus any major decision that affects their lives especially in legislation requires a consultation with them. One such piece of legislation is the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) which will serve, if enacted into law, as the basic law for the Bangsamoro political entity that it seeks to establish.

The peace panels, among other mechanisms of the GPH-MILF peace process, will continue to stay until the Exit Agreement is signed. This Agreement will only be signed, signalling that negotiations are over and terminated, after the Third Party Monitoring Team (TPMT), the GPH and MILF Peace Panels, and the third party facilitator shall have validated and agreed that both Parties have implemented all agreements; meaning, both have complied with all their bilateral or unilateral obligations.

There is no better way to start the healing process with the best of intention, followed by concrete and positive steps. The crucial part, in fact the defining moment, is, however, in the fulfilment of obligations. This is where the government from Marcos to the Aquino administrations, nay Congress, is faulted.

Without doubt, the statement of Davao Del Norte representative-elect and presumptive speaker of the House Pantaleon Alvarez, if he indeed made those sweeping statements, that the "there’s no more need for a BBL" and that the "Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro (CAB) had been rendered moot by the new government and its plan to federalize the political system" is a non-starter. It does not build confidence that the Duterte administration understands the Bangsamoro Problem.

On June 3, 2010, the Government of the Philippines (GPH) and Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) had signed a Declaration of Continuity for Peace Negotiation. This was an unequivocal commitment of both Parties to uphold the way of peace in resolving the conflict in Mindanao, amidst uncertainties brought to fore especially after the government under President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo failed to honour its obligation to sign the Memorandum of Agreement on Ancestral Domain (MOA-AD) in 2008. Today, a similar situation happens, after Congress failed or did not pass the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL), in which case, the Parties should come up with an agreement akin to it.

GENERAL SANTOS CITY, May 22, 2016 – Unless it is his way of finding relief from his promises, presumptive President Rodrigo R. Duterte must restrain his cabinet-member designates and top allies in the Congress from making public statements contrary to his campaign and post-campaign commitments like what Davao del Norte representative-elect Pantaleon Alvarez said at the “Headstart” program of ANC (ABS-CBN News Channel) last May 19. He is Duterte’s candidate for House speaker.

GENERAL SANTOS CITY, May 18, 2016 – Will the Bangsamoro be established under the administration of President Rodrigo R. Duterte? MILF Chairman Murad Ebrahim sounds optimistic. (MindaNews, May 15, 2016: MILF’s Murad to Duterte: “We will partner with you and your administration”)

GENERAL SANTOS CITY, February 11, 2016 – Bangsamoro is stalled. The BBL that would have launched it by June 30, 2016 had been disabled early in the Congress and substituted with the BLBAR. But, BLBAR had failed to take off when the Congress adjourned last February 5. Whether Bangsamoro can be relaunched during the next administration hinges on how Moro-friendly would be the next President and the non-Moro members of the 17th Congress.

GENERAL SANTOS CITY, January 25, 2016 – “A-DL” is Anti-Dynasty Law; “FOIL” is Freedom of Information Law. BBL is the original Draft Bangsamoro Basic Law. All three are still bills marooned in the 16th Congress. As BBL has been debased and pining for redemption and passage, A-DL and FOIL, long resigned to their fate, are comforting it: “Hindi ka nag-iisa” (You are not alone.)

GENERAL SANTOS CITY, January 14, 2016 – No matter how unacceptable, let it be stated simply: The Bangsamor is banished indefinitely. This is seen through prevailing circumstances that look irreversible. This is squarely facing the fact. Let’s hope, though, that by a miraculous stroke of fate, the statement is proven wrong.

GENERAL SANTOS CITY, December 19, 2015 – The Philippine Star (December 16, 2015: House drops opt-in provision from BBL) reported the House of Representatives “has decided to delete the controversial opt-in provision from the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) in a move to lessen opposition to the measure.” 

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Presence of Third Parties in GPH MILF Peace Process:

GPH–MILF Peace Process presents a unique engagement model of Third parties engagement in various aspects of the peace process. Third Parties have been invited at the pleasure of parties after a bilateral agreement had reached between the parties. This has resulted in GPH-MILF peace process as a multilateral process. In a multilateral process such as this one, parties cannot make unilateral decision about role of third parties.  

We, the members of the Bangsamoro Justice-Seekers for Martial Law Massacre Victims, a community of victims, survivors, and descendants of the horrendous bloody massacres committed in Mindanao during the Martial Law administration of the President Ferdinand Marcos make known our unequivocal position.

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