We reap the dividends of peace –KPI President Abdula

NORTH COTABATO (February 24, 2018) --- “We are reaping the dividends of peace in our peace process with the Philippine Government,” said guest speaker Professor Esmael Abdula, President of Kalilintad Peacebuilding Institute and BLMI Training Officer, in a Peace Forum organized by the MILF Provincial Political Committee of North Cotabato.

“We need to level off our understanding of the current Bangsamoro peace agenda with the government so that we can strengthen our efforts for the immediate passage of the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) by Philippine Congress”, Abdula emphasized.

Abdula added that: “The Bangsamoro legitimate struggle is inclusive towards establishing Bangsamoro political entity.”

Abdula also narrated that the MILF started its formal peace negotiation with the Philippine government in 1997 under the administration of former president Fidel V. Ramos,  continued during the tenure of former presidents Joseph E. Estrada (1998-2000), Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, (Agreement for the General Framework for the Resumption of Peace Talks in 2001,  Memorandum of Agreement on Ancestral Domain in 2008), Benigno C. Aquino III (resumption of peace negotiations in 2011,  Framework Agreement on the Bangsamoro in 2012, Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro in 2014, and at present under Rodrigo R. Duterte’s administration.

Second guest speaker Mohammad Antao, Board member representing the 1st District of North Cotabato said, the peace process is the right solution to Bangsamoro problem in Mindanao. He stressed that “the term Bangsamoro is not invented, but it is traditional based on history.”

Historically, many books written by foreigners, Filipinos, and Moro writers, such as Alunan Glang, Former Congressman Michael Mastura, Salah Jubair, and many others described the term Bangsamoro originates from the Malay word bangsa meaning nation, and Spanish word Moro, who are at the time of conquest, when the people of Mindanao fought valiantly against the conquistadores their bravery resembles that of the Mooris who fought against the Spaniards in Europe.