Friday, February 22, 2013

MILF peace panel members brave storm to attend Dialogue-Forum in Isabela


From the Website of MILF
links:  http://www.luwaran.com/home/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=3111:milf-peace-panel-members-brave-storm-to-attend-dialogue-forum-in-isabela&catid=31:general&Itemid=41


MILF peace panel members brave storm to attend Dialogue-Forum in Isabela

By: Anis Basil and Tirso Tahir
February 22, 2013 News: Storm signal # 1 hoisted in most provinces of Mindanao including Basilan did not hinder Mohagher Iqbal, MILF Chief Negotiator, Prof. Abhoud Sayeed Lingga and Al Camlian, both members of the MILF Peace Panel to attend a Dialogue-Forum for Peace on “The Framework Agreement on the Bangsamoro” held at the Querexeta Formation Center Claret College of Isabela City upon the invitation of its organizers last February 19.

Iqbal and his delegation boarded a Philippine Navy ship from Zamboanga City as commercial boats were prohibited to sail due to typhoon Crising. They were already onboard a fast craft bound for Basilan when the Coast Guard made the announcement for the cancellation of all sea-bound trips including theirs.

Also attending the forum were Mayor of Isabela City Cherrylyn Santos-Akbar, Basilan Vice Governor Salakahul, Col. Carlito “Charlie” Galvez, commander of the Joint Task Force Basilan, and the official representative of ARMM-OIC Governor Secretary Kahal Kedtag.

Despite the rain, the MILF delegation was warmly met by Father Martin Jomoad and organizers at the wharf putting on them garlands while the Claret Band was performing a welcome music in honour of the visitors. For about an hour the residents of Isabela City anxiously waited at the center just to see and listen to the speeches of the MILF officials. With no written speech Chairman Iqbal said “we came here in the name of peace, a peace which everybody could not have just slept nicely but more than that where there is justice.
“I have no prepared speech; I will speak from the bottom of my heart,” Iqbal solemnly declared.

Being impressed by Iqbal’s remarks, Father Jomoad said that the people of Isabela are so happy upon hearing Mr. Iqbal’s mentioning the word peace”.

What was clearly delivered that the FAB is not solely beneficial to the Bangsamoro but to all people residing in the proposed Bangsamoro region. 

One participant raised the question of why the need for another referendum when in the past two referenda had resulted in rejection for inclusion in the ARMM by the residents. Abhoud responded that by saying that an enclave like Isabela will be too its disadvantage if it does not join the new political entity.

Another question was asked: “Why is Isabela still included in the Framework agreement on Bangsamoro?” Prof. Abhoud Syed Lingga answered “there’s nothing wrong when you are consulted again as it is part of a democratic process.” And this process is one of the features of the framework agreement.

In another question, “Are Christians allowed to celebrate their religious activities such as fiesta, street parade and so on? Iqbal quote a Qur’anic verse which says that “there is no compulsion in religion”. “Unto you your religion and unto me my religion.”

What is yours is yours, and mine is mine and so you have the right to perform your religious practices” Iqbal further said. On his part, Prof. Lingga said that “in the FAB everybody is allowed to perform his religious traditions, practices or celebrate feasts but if you are drunk that is another story”.

When one resident asked about a comparison between the Final Peace Agreement of the MNLF and the FAB Chairman Iqbal said that, “FPA was unilaterally implemented by the Government Republic of the Philippines under Ramos Administration and the Moro People had not been consulted in contrast with the FAB”. “The essence of democracy has not been followed.

Consultation with the people is a must when their welfare is at stake. Decisions that will ultimately affect the people are not a monopoly of the elites of the government”.

Al Camlian supplemented that we are not against the MNLF in fact most of us came from the MNLF Chairman Murad Ebrahim, Brother Iqbal and I were pioneer MNLF members”.

A number of the men, women and students secured the center while Military men were in charge of securing the premises. Everyone was overwhelmed as this rarely happen in Isabela, and in Basilan in general




MILF Website

 

links:
http://www.luwaran.com/home/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=3111:milf-peace-panel-members-brave-storm-to-attend-dialogue-forum-in-isabela&catid=31:general&Itemid=41





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