CSO, Moro Community Leaders hold Preparatory Meeting for Upcoming Peace Advocacy

TULUNGATUNG, ZAMBOANGA CITY. July 2, 2018- A group of Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) and Moro Community Leaders in Zamboanga City and Sulu held meeting on Sunday, July 01, at Asta Moro Madrasa aimed to hammer out plans for activities in Bangsamoro grassroots communities.

Series of activities had been conducted and intensified in support to the peace process particularly the current trending issues on Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) drafted by Bangsamoro Transition Commission (BTC). 

House Bill No. 6475, and Senate Bill No. 1717 on BBL will be tackled by the Bicameral Conference Committee (BCC) on July 9-13, 2018 to come out with a reconciled version and submit it to President Rodrigo Duterte for his signature. 

Various CSOs and Moro Community Leaders in Zamboanga City, the Island provinces of Sulu, Basilan and Tawi-Tawi have made similar feelings of upset on Congress’ substitute BBL Versions, and made an appeal to BCC to restore the substantial provisions of the that were either deleted, and/or amended arguing that they were not in conjunction with signed peace agreements. 

Hadji Imlah Ajibon, a Moro Community Leader said that any converging effort in promoting common objective of Bangsamoro is very important and crucial and they are ever-ready to show their collective support to BTC-Drafted BBL.

Peace Advocate from Sulu Brother Matt Estino said that, “He is happy to have a cohesive partnership with other concerned Bangsamoro for the realization of Bangsamoro aspiration through the passage of an acceptable BBL.  

Mr. Caluang, another Veteran Community leader and Peace Advocate from Sulu aired his concerns on the deleted provision concerning the Bangsamoro Water and the implication of Congress Version of BBL approved on May 30.

“We in the Western Mindanao and Island provinces will be affected if Bangsamoro water is stricken out from BBL, Mr. Caluang stressed. 

In his power-point presentation, Brother Phix from United Youth for Peace and Development (UNYPAD) explained how the BBL was deliberated in Congress. He also presented the BBL provision that were deleted and changed without honoring what is stipulated in the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro (CAB) 

“As we continue our legitimate struggle, we have to strengthen our partnership with other stakeholders who shared common objective with us. Many CSOs were upset by the Congress Substitute BBL versions. It is very unfortunate that the outcome of seventeen years of protracted negotiation with the government was completely disregarded in the Hall of Congress in matter of three days,” Brother Phix said. 

Mr. Tirso Tahir from Bangsamoro Leadership and Management Institute (BLMI) also shared his part by facilitating and wrapping up the issues discussed and responded to the question raised by Sister Rashyieda Majid from Mindanao Women Advocacy for Good Governance (MWAGG) about Federalism and its interconnection with BBL. 

Both BLMI and UNYPAD Officers based in Zamboanga City have been facilitating various CSO’s meetings, strategic planning, focus group discussion (FGD) and other community activities in Western Mindanao and the island Provinces.