Saturday, August 22, 2015

Peace Advocates Call on Congress to Pass BBL that Conforms to the CAB

From the Website of MILF

Peace Advocates Call on Congress to Pass BBL that Conforms to the CAB

 Peace Advocates Call on Congress to Pass BBL that Conforms to the CAB

MANILA, Philippines — The Civil Society Organizations from Mindanao along with peace advocates in Metro Manila staged a rally outside Senate as Senator “Bongbong” Marcos was delivering his privilege speech on August 12, 2015. 

“Prior to Senator Marcos privilege speech, it was already anticipated that the Substitute Bill or the SB 2894 would be announced in his speech,” Sajid Khan Tula, Chairman of the United Youth for Peace and Development (UNYPAD) Metro Manila chapter, said.

“The contents of the Bill are so frustrating, so unfair, and they are never meant to resolving the Bansamoro question as it is never true to the intent of the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro (CAB),” Sajid pointed out.  

He lambasted Senator Marcos for having come up with a Substitute Bill that has totally disregarded the substance of the BBL original version, and for having deprived Bangsamoro of their right to self-determination and governance.

“Instead of healing the wounds of injustices (such as land grabbing, massacres, summary executions, among others) committed by his father to the Bangsamoro, he is adding them, and what the Senator did to the BBL is another unforgivable massacre, like what his father did to the Bangsamoro” Sajid lamented.

Kamim Macmod, Regional Coordinator of the UNYPAD Luzon Regional Cluster, said that very purpose of the rally is to inform the law makers that the Bangsamoro people do not and will never accept any BBL version that does not conform to the CAB.

“Mr. Senator Marcos, we have been in a chaotic situation during your father’s regime. Now that we see we are closer to the end in our effort to addressing problem of peace in Mindanao. We see we are now closer to fulfilling our dream of enjoying freedom within the Philippine State. Why are you killing our dreams by means of proposing a bill according to your own interpretation and desire,” Murshid Mascud, Vice Chair of the Mindanao Alliance for Peace (MAP), said.

“Mr. Marcos, we want the BBL based on CAB because that is the only solution to pacify and end the conflict in Mindanao. We, in the Civil Society Groups,  believed that the BBL based on CAB still be the real solution to the decades-long conflict in Mindanao, so why go for proposed law of yours which is weaker than the BBL,” Murshid, also an intervener to Supreme Court, added.

“You know, We, People (Muslims and Christians) of North Cotabato, are already existing, living harmoniously and peacefully. Please don’t ruin the good atmosphere we are enjoying right now due to a bill which is unsatisfactory to the majority. We are the one who will suffer the consequences of failure of the peace process,” Kelly Antao, North Cotabato first district Board Member, said.

He explained that when the war unfolds in North Cotabato, the people there will indeed suffer a great loss economically. 

“For instance, the fund which is supposedly used for the development of the Province, we will be forced to spend it for the evacuees. We could use it for the projects that can better benefit our constituents but we have no choice other than spending it for the survival of our people in evacuation centers should war happen,” Kelly pointed out.

He said that one of the concrete examples is the birth of BIFF due to the failure of MOA-AD, and what worries him is he doesn’t know what kind of child will be born should this BBL be watered down. 
“The government is skeptical of allocating fund for the Bangsamoro as they have been thinking that the money will be used to purchase weapons, which will be used to fight against the government to secede from the Philippines,”  Yusoph Lumambas, UNYPAD Secretary-General, told TV-5 news. 

“That will not happen because it is stated clearly in the FAB and CAB that the Bangsamoro Government is still under the Philippine Government,” he said.

Asked about what part of the new versions (of both House of Representatives and Senate) he doesn’t like, Yusoph said: “Generally if we look at these new versions, they are far from the agreed one. They changed the contents of it.”

Kamim Macmod said that the peace advocates led by the Consortium of Bangsamoro Civil Society Organizations (CBCS) and its allied networks in Mindanao and Metro Manila will never stop voicing out their concerns on the BBL that has now been hovering between life and death in the hands of the congress. 

“We will continue to stage rally until our appeal to go for the BBL based on CAB be heard by our Legislators because it is only the way where the GPH and the Bangsamoro would both win,” he disclosed.

“It is a win-win solution,” he stressed. 

MILF Website

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