Mindanao stakeholders confuse on Duterte’s “pessimistic” remark on Bangsamoro peace process

Guiamel Alim, Executive Director of the Kadtuntaya Foundation and a member of the Council of Elders of the Consortium of Bangsamoro Civil Society said that the president’s pessimism on Bangsamoro Peace Process “will weaken the resolve to the peaceful resolution of the Bangsamoro Question. It sends signal to the failure of the peace process. Masamang pangitain (Bad omen)”, Mindanews said in its May 7 report. 

During the campaign, and even after he assumed office, President Duterte has repeatedly vowed to address the historical injustices committed against the Bangsamoro and to honor all signed peace agreements.

He also once said that, “Nothing can appease the Moro people except to address the ‘historical injustice’ committed against them.

Before Duterte gave his “pessimistic” remark to policemen in Camp Pendatun in Parang, Maguindanao on May 5, the 21-member Bangsamoro Transition Commission (BTC), the body tasked to draft the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) as mandated by the CAB, has been holding committee hearings and according to BTC  chair Ghazali Jaafar, will hold sessions on May 9 to 11 and will submit the draft BBL to the Office of the President in the first week of June, not May 15 or 18 as earlier planned, Mindanews also said in its report.

President Duterte also plans to call on all Moro revolutionary leaders to a meeting to come up with a consensus on how to move forward in implementing the legislation aspect of their peace agreements.

The MNLF faction under founding chair Nur Misuari, however, did not want to be part of the BTC. In November last year, Secretary Jesus Dureza announced a departure from the peace roadmap by creating a separate peace implementing panel for the MNLF-Misuari faction.

Secretary Jesus Dureza, Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process told MindaNews that there is an “urgent need for all Bangsamoro factions to converge in accordance with the Duterte peace roadmap.”

“We all have to pursue an ‘inclusive’ approach. Although we have diverse tribal groups, maintaining factionalism up to now as what happened in the past, will not help  in effectively addressing what the President refers to as the historical injustice similarly and commonly  suffered by all Muslims, irrespective of tribal  or territorial entitlements,” Dureza said.

Retired Professor Rufa Guiam, said: “Honestly I do not know where this remark is coming from. Where is his campaign pitch to address historical injustice sa mga Bangsamoro? Why did he create the implementing panel when he does not believe that this process is going anywhere by being pessimistic about it?”, Mindanews quoting her saying.

Prof. Rufa Cagoco-Guiam stresses a point on the role of Bangsamoro women in conflict and peacebuilding. MIndaNews photo by GG BUENO

In March, Guiam told MindaNews she expected Duterte would have met with the key Moro revolutionary leaders instead of set them apart by creating separate implementing panels.