Friday, December 14, 2012

Public Interest on Framework Agreement Increases

Public Interest on Framework Agreement Increases

December 10, 2012 News: Officials of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) including Datu Antonio P. Kinoc, an alternate MILF Peace Panel member that represents the indigenous people are now taking advantage of the momentum as interest and widespread support on the FAB increase and gaining ground even in Christian localities in Central Mindanao and among the indigenous people in Maguindanao. This was shown by series of invitations received by the Front and Datu Kinoc in recent days. Non-government organizations are also exerting efforts to intensify information drive through conduct of forums and other forms of public gathering to enlighten the people on the letter and intent of the FAB as well as the benefits that maybe derived from it. MinHRAC is one of the frontrunners of this campaign advocacy.

Datu Kinoc has been invited to various advocacy forums on the FRAMEWORK AGREEMENT ON THE BANGSA MORO signed last October 15, 2012 in Manila. On November 22, 2012, he was invited by the National Code NGO Assembly through MINCODE, its Mindanao Office headed by Ms. Pat Sarenas. Datu Kinoc spoke in the afternoon ahead of GPH Panel Member Bai Yasmin Busran Lao.

Last November 27, 2012, Datu Kinoc was again invited to speak on the framework agreement at the Mindanao State University, General Santos City Campus at Tambler, General Santos City. The forum was organized by the MINHRAC in coordination with the chancellor of the University. It was attended by more than two thousand students, faculty and community leaders who came as far as Glan. Many questions were asked and were ably answered by both Datu Kinoc and Atty Zainudin Malang of MINHRAC.

On November 28, 2012, the SIMM CARRD also invited Datu Kinoc at a forum on the same subject at the El Comidor Restaurant along Sinsuat Ave. Cotabato City. It was attended by a mixed audience of Christian and Moro stakeholders representing the urban poor, agrarian reform beneficiaries and ten (10) barangay chairmen and other officials of Cotabato City. Then on December 1, 2012, upon invitation of MINHRAC, a forum of similar nature was also held in South Upi, A large delegation of MILF Officials led by the General Staff of the Bangsamoro Islamic Armed Forces (BIAF) and other functionaries of the MILF notably the Chair of the Technical Working Group (TWG) of the Peace Panel on normalization, Mohammad Nassif and Atty Naguib Sinarimbo.  Mayor Abdullah Campong also attended the program.

They were able to explain the benefits that would be derived from the framework agreement and further explained that the intent is not exclusive but rather inclusive to those who are willing to be a part of the proposed Bangsamoro Region. On December 2, 2012, the group of Datu Kinoc was also invited to another forum at Barangay Manarapan, Carmen, North Coabato were more than 400 people attended. The audience was told that Carmen is prominent in the Bangsamoro struggle because it was in this town that the infamous Manili massacre took place sometime in 1971 that added to the sentiments and anger of the Moro people who later on waged a war of rebellion that engulfed Mindanao and Sulu. Another Peace Forum was also organized by the SIMM CARRD on December 3, 2012 at the town of Alamada, North Cotabato where the delegation of Datu Kinoc was present. Barangay chairmen and other local leaders attended the program. Mayor Bartolome Lataza Jr. of the said municipality opened the program. Vice Mayor, Leonegildo Calibara also attended. Upon hearing the clarifications made by the speakers about the FAB, the attendees had a positive response and even expressed their openness to be a part of the proposed region considering that they are adjacent to Buldon.

The forum in Aleosan, held at the Dualing National High School was a culmination program of the Mindanao Week of Peace, it was attended mostly by youth and students which comprised a crowd of more than 400, The School Principal, Mrs. Pastores opened the program but had to begged off later on as she has to go to the division office in Amas,North Cotabato. This forum was organized by the Balay Rehabilitation Center based in Kidapawan City. The curiosities of the students and faculty on the framework agreement were satisfied by the group and they were hopeful that it will succeed. It wound up before twelve noon as the MILF delegation have to catch-up with the TWG meeting scheduled in Cotabato City.

As these info disseminations were warmly welcomed by the people in the areas mentioned earlier, it is not far-fetch that even Christian areas would eventually join the Bangamoro Region as they foresee a wider and much bigger opportunities that lay ahead. It is only a matter time that Moro leaders will ultimately emerge, one that can prove once and for all that not all Moros are ill-managers but rather effective, efficient and competent housekeepers of government.

Similar gatherings in connection with the campaign dissemination of the agreement were also conducted in Shariff Aguak. Maguindanao; Midsayap, North Cotabato, Malapatan, Sarangani; and Mati City in Davao Oriental where top Front officials personally attended, including Ghazali Jaafar, MILF Vice Chairman for Political Affairs.

MILF Website