IN PHOTO- fr L to R OPAPP Usec Nabil Tan, Mohagher Iqbal, Chair of the MILF Peace Implementing Panels, and TV Host Ms. Karen Davila

Prominent Personalities Guest at Bangsamoro and Beyond: A National Conversation

Manila, Philippines – Some members of Bangsamoro Transition Commission(BTC) led by MILF Peace Implementing Panel Chair Mogaher Iqbal, and other prominent personalities were invited at the Bangsamoro and Beyond: A National Conversation held at Dolphy Theater, ABS-CBN, Quezon City hosted by Ms. Karen Davila, a veteran anchor and TV host.

The program was organized by British Council headed by Ms. Tatine G. Faylona, A Conflict and Community Resilience Expert of the British Council which attained their expectation of having 300 participants. 

The activity aimed to discuss the beauty of Bangsamoro Organic Law (BOL) and its relation to socio -economic development that can be possibly provided for the future Bangsamoro, as a develop nation. 

Aside from members of the BTC, other invited personalities were from the legislative body of government such as Deputy Speaker for Muslim Affairs, Representative Bai Sandra Sema, Anak Mindanao Executive Director Sitti Jalilah Hataman, Jojie Felicitas Fantoha, CEO of Coffee for Peace, Inc., Marawi City Rescue Team Spokesperson Samira Gutoc and COMELEC Deputy Executive Director for Operations, Atty. Bartolume Dela Cruz Jr. 

Iqbal along with Commissioner Atty. Jun Lorena, and Commissioner Atty. Maisara Latiph took turns in describing the beauty of the Bangsamoro Organic Law that will bring forward for an advanced Bangsamoro in the future. 

Atty. Lorena intellectually responded to a query from the host on “What kind of representation the President want to have in relation to Bangsamoro Transition Authority? 

Atty. Lorena said, “The BTA is really avoiding the entry of people who cannot be working. In the process, there are criteria for selection, and we will try to select the best who can function when we have the bright people that have the experience to govern. And having a good framework in legislation will make the parliament as a working and functional government.

Program Anchor Ms. Davila asked MILF PIP Chair Iqbal, what makes this agreement different and why the MILF is hopeful, and how does it work for the Bangsamoro? The second set of conversation. 

In his response, Iqbal stressed that as Bangsamoro, we are dealing only one problem, one people and one aspiration where all things that are not covered by the Tripoli Agreement in 1976, the Jeddah Accord of 1986, the final peace agreement between the government, and the MILF leadership that has been their policy set up before setting the peace negotiation with our counterpart in searching for peaceful solution to the aspiration of their people. And its difference between those agreements, they have the substantial issues like the issue of inclusivity that is translated into a legal document that no one is left out to this government. Meaning, it is inclusive for all.

GPH Peace Implementing Panel USec Nabil Tan said that the Organic Law for the Bangsamoro as an answer to the quest of the Bangsamoro people is a land mark legislation in to address the problems of the land. It embodies not only legal documentd but a social document that meant to address injustices in the past, to accommodate cultures, to be responsive to their faith in the region that embodies everything that will find the succeeding provisions of the law which is stipulated in Preamble of the enacted law passed by the House of Congress. 

Commissioner Atty. Latiph was asked about the importance of democratic space where the Filipino people can see that the voters are willing on their own without any threats from local officials. 

Commissioner Atty.Latiph emphasized the democratic space is being enriched through exercising their rights to vote especially for the youth involvement in the plebiscite as primary stakeholders. In such, she let the youth participants understand the wisdom why there is that need to change the status quo and the historical piece of legislation is very important.

As she ended, she leaves a challenge to the youth to organize themselves and hold community town hall campaign, and be volunteers of this coming referendum.