Chevening holds Forum on Sustaining Peace 

Cotabato City - Chevening Alumni Association of the Philippines foundation, Inc. (CAAFPI) hold “Sustaining Peace Forum” held at Em Manor Hotel in the City of Cotabato on February 29 attended by representatives from the women sector, local government units, religious sector, Civil Society Organizations, and the security sector.

Atty. IshaK Mastura, TRJRC Commissioner, Prof. Abhoud Syed M. Lingga, MILF Peace Panel member, and Major Sol of the AFP-Coordinating Committee on Cessation of Hostilities (CCCH), representing the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP) were invited as resource speakers.

CAAFPI organized the forum in order to inform the participants on the current challenges, context and status of the peace in Mindanao as well as the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL).

The forum also aimed to collect ideas from the participants on the peace process and gather their [participants] recommendations concerning peace and to inform the policy-makers on the output of the collected ideas and participants’ recommendations.

Atty. Algamar Latiph, Chevening Fellow 2006 and one of the organizers, said that, “There is a need to gather peace stakeholders to dialogue and discuss not only the BBL but also the prospect of sustaining peace in Mindanao”.

Atty. Mastura presented the Transitional Justice Reconciliation Commission (TJRC) reports.

Prof. Lingga said the non-Passage of BBL is a violation on the part of the government and brought frustrations. It is the obligation of the government to deliver its commitment [BBL] to the Bangsamoro people.

The Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro (CAB) is not just an economic-political agreement but it is also a legal agreement of the government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), said Prof. Lingga.

Asked by a participant if the BBL is the right solution to the Bangsamoro question?

“The ultimate solution to the Bangsamoro question is the peace agreement signed between the Government of the Philippines (GPH) and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF). The BBL is only part of the agreement. Peace is what we need in Mindanao. The only way to have peace in Mindanao is to implement the Normalization Process Annex to the Framework Agreement on the Bangsamoro (FAB). We shall support the peace process between the government and the MILF”, said Lingga.

In spite of the non-passage of the BBL, the MILF will continue to uphold the peace process and ensure that all the gains will be preserved, MILF Chair Al Haj Murad Ebrahim said in a statement released on February 18.