'Fast track CAB-based BBL to put an end to Mindanao conflict': BDA Chair

The chairman of the Bangsamoro Development Agency (BDA) said the Government of the Philippines (GPH) must  fast track the enactment of a CAB (Comprehensive Agreemen on the Bangsamoro)-based Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) in able to put an end to Mindanao conflict.

“So if we want to really put an end to this Mindanao conflict, the government must fast track the immediate enactment of a CAB-based BBL and followed immediately by the shift to a federal form of government where the Bangsamoro State will become a component state of the Federal Republic of the Philippines,” Dr. Safrullah Dipatuan, BDA Chairman, said in his speech during the Mindanao Trust Fund (MTF) Closing on April 18, 2017 at the SMX Convention Center, Davao City.

The GPH and Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) had been engaged in peace talks from 1997 to 2014 seeking for the lasting solution to the decades of armed conflict in Southern Philipppines.

The CAB is the major output of the peace process which provides the passage of the BBL by the Philippine Congress that will lay down the foundations for the establishment of the Bangsamoro autonomous political entity with more fiscal and political powers.

Dipatuan said the Bangsamoro peace process is being faced by challenges brought by violent extremist groups like the Abu Sayaaf  and the ISIS-leaning Maute Group from Lanao.

The BDA head believes that the ASG is the “product of the  haphazard implementation of the GRP-MNLF peace agreements in 1976 and 1996” while the Maute came into being “due to the environment created by the failure of the 16th Congress of the Philippines to enact the BBL into law.” 

“MTF-RDP helped us show the world that we are not a band of violent and war-freak individuals but a group of people committed to the attainment of durable peace and sustainable development of our communities ravaged by several decades of bloody armed conflict,” he stressed.

For more than a decade, MTF-RDP and had been partners in implementing various development projects in conflict affected and conflict vulnerable communities in Mindanao and the island provinces.

BDA, the economic arm of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), was created une 2002 in pursuance of the Humanitarian, Rehabilitation and Development Aspects of the GPH-MILF Tripoli Agreement on Peace of June 22, 2001.

The MTF-RDP, under the World Bank administered multi-donor fund ,was launched on March 27, 2006 with the aim to assist economic and social recovery in the conflict-affected and vulnerable areas of Mindanao. 

It is supported by Australian Aid for International Development(AusAID), New Zealand Aid for International Development (NZAID), Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA), Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA), United States Aid for International Development (USAID), the World Bank, and the European Union (EU). 

Dignitaries and representatives from the donor agencies were present in the event.  Edward Guerra represented the MILF Chairman Al-Haj Murad Ebrahim.