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Maguindanao leaders call on legislators anew to pass BBL

BANGSAMORO NEWS UPDATES • 00:34 AM Thu Nov 12, 2015
OPAPP news release
One of Maguindanao leaders sign the petition.

BULUAN, Maguindanao – Political leaders from Maguindanao have called on members of the House of Representatives and the Senate to pass a basic law for the Bangsamoro that faithfully complies with the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bansgsamoro (CAB) and not the one that will result to a government that is even less than the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM).”In a petition signed by mayors of the different municipalities of Maguindanao and their representatives during the Peace Dialogue with Maguindanao Political Leaders conducted at BBGM Restaurant, Buluan, Maguindanao yesterday, Nov. 10, the Maguindanao local officials manifested their conviction that the Bangsamoro Basic Law, in its original form submitted by the Office of the President and filed in the House of Representatives as House Bill No. 4994 and the Senate as Senate Bill 2408, can address the various forms of injustices committed against the Bangsamoro and thus can bring forth dignified peace, meaningful development, and unity and reconciliation in the entire country.”Maguindanao Deputy Governor Ramil Dilangalen, who attended the dialogue in behalf of Gov. Ismael Toto” Mangudadatu, said the Maguindanao local officials held a new Peace Dialogue despite several similar activities in the past because of the need to continue their campaign to get our voices to be heard.”Sammy Al-Mansour, Secretary General of the United Bangsamoro for Justice Party (UBJP), the official political party of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), stressed the mandate of Maguindanao political leaders to secure peace in their province for their people. Ako, ikaw, tayo, sa mga susunod na taon ay kailangan ng peace. Lahat tayo kailangan natin ng peace. (You, me, all of us, need this peace in the coming years),” said Al-Mansour.Al-Mansour reiterated the MILF’s continued commitment to peace and the Bangsamoro peace process despite delays in the passage of the BBL.He said this has already been manifested when we started the decommissioning process,” which the MILF wants to complete. We are governed by the word commensurate or parallel. If the BBL will be passed, we will decommission. If not, we will not decommission,” said Al-Mansour.On the other hand, MILF chief peace negotiator Mohagher Iqbal, in a statement, urged the Bangsamoro people to remain strong and united whatever happens to the BBL. BBL or No BBL or Bad BBL, we need to be strong, we need to consolidate the Bangsamoro people. We should rely on our strength and [the] unity of our people. We need to build on the political capacity of our people. We, as a Bangsamoro, need to strengthen our movement towards self-determination,” said Iqbal.The Peace Dialogue with Maguindanao Political Leaders was conducted as part of the B-BANGON Project with the theme Building Autonomous and Stable Institution and Communities for Bangsamoro Advancement and through National-level and Grassroots Organization and Networks” which aims to protect the gains of the peace process, conducted by The Asia Foundation in cooperation with other international organizations such as the Australian Aid, Nonviolent Peace Force, Swiss Foundation for Mine Action, the International Monitoring Team and other local civil society organizations.Dr. Steven Rood, Country Representative of The Asia Foundation and member of the Third Party Monitoring Team (TPMT) to the GPH-MILF peace process, said that despite the major delays in the passage of the BBL, the TPMT will stay and remain committed to the Bangsamoro peace process. You are not alone in this process. You have friends in the international community. And we are all working together to make this peace process happen,” said Dr. Rood.For her part, GPH Peace Panel Chairperson Prof. Miriam Coronel Ferrer advocated unity and solidarity among the Bangsamoro people, especially among Maguindanao’s political leaders. Sana sama-sama tayong magtulungan, she said. We need to show the world that the Bangsamoro is capable as long as it will be given adequate political autonomy and resources. That it can bring progress and development to the Bangsamoro people and that it can contribute to the development of the entire Philippines because the improvement of the Bangsamoro benefits the entire country. The success of the Bangsamoro is the success of every Filipino),” Ferrer added.

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