Bangsamoro pact remembered | Inquirer Opinion
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Bangsamoro pact remembered

02:00 AM April 17, 2017

With the third anniversary of the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsa-moro (CAB) last March 27 in mind, we, members of All-Out Peace (AOP) and Mindanao Peace-weavers (MPW), renew our support for the historic peace pact, reiterating a stronger, collective resolve to arrive at a genuinely inclusive peace via a roadmap that secures the present and the future not just for the Bangsamoro but for the whole nation.

AOP and MPW believe that the CAB embodies and recognizes the “justness and legitimacy of the cause of the Bangsamoro people and their aspiration to chart their political future through a democratic process that will secure their identity and prosperity, and allow for meaningful self-governance.” In this context, we call for the immediate enactment of a Bangsamoro enabling law that upholds all principled and meaningful solutions to seek a final answer to the Bangsamoro question and resolution to the decades-old Mindanao conflict.

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We also reaffirm our commitment to contribute, more significantly, to peace-building—a strategy crucial to finding a viable peace formula to help see the Bangsamoro peace process reach a successful conclusion, and finally seal the Bangsamoro’s democratic aspiration to exercise their right to self-determination in their pursuit of meaningful and enduring peace.

Despite CAB’s setbacks (Mamasapano and the 16th Congress’ failure to pass the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL), it is our view that the agreement has weathered the storm. A product of political negotiations between the Bangsamoro and the Philippine government, it is also because of decades of community peace-building that we are here today, stronger and with a firmer resolve to persevere
and defend the political promise and peaceful vision of what we claim as our CAB.

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We respectfully urge President Duterte, the implementing peace panels, the Bangsamoro Transition Commission (BTC) to fast track the peace process as we cannot afford further delay. The strategy of the new administration to actually build on what has been accomplished in the past and to honor previous commitments, including the agreements signed by past administrations, is most welcome.

Even though an enabling law is yet to be hammered out by the BTC and enacted by Congress, a Transitional Justice and Reconciliation Commission (TJRC) mandated by the CAB has delivered on its major tasks—a report, and recommendations primarily based on extensive consultations conducted in Bangsamoro areas. We urge President Duterte to heed the TJRC’s recommendations, particularly on the establishment of a “TJRC for Bangsamoro” that shall promote healing and reconciliation within the “dealing with the past” framework.

Now, more than ever, we are hopeful that in the spirit of the CAB and other related peace agreements, history is on our side, offering a new, golden opportunity for the enactment of a Bangsamoro enabling law to rectify the injustices committed not just against the Bangsamoro and indigenous peoples of Mindanao, but also against all the oppressed peoples of our nation.

We are determined to win this “war” against war. In the success of the peace process rests our peaceful and democratic future.

GANI ABUNDA, on behalf of All-Out Peace and Mindanao Peaceweavers

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TAGS: All-Out Peace, All-Out Peace (AOP), AOP, Bangsamoro, CAB, Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsa-moro (CAB), Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro, Gani Abunda, Inquirer letters, Inquirer Opinion, Mindanao Peace Weavers, MPW
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