FURTHER inspired by the recent signing of the Bangsamoro Framework Agreement between the government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front, peace and justice activists based in Metro Manila have reaffirmed their support for the peace initiative during the closing today of the annual Mindanao Week of Peace (MWP).
Members of different civil society organizations, as well as representatives from the Quezon City Hall and some government agencies, participated in the Cultural Solidarity Walk from the Bantayog ng mga Bayani to the Quezon Memorial Circle that culminated the weeklong festivities that started on Nov. 28.
The Mindanao Solidarity Network (MSN), co-organizer of MWP along with the Quezon City government, expressed its optimism on the prospects of the “framework agreement” despite of the long and complex process that still needs to be done in this roadmap.
Liza Ugay, MSN spokesperson, explained that the historic signing of the “framework” in Malacañang last Oct. 15 was only one of the series of steps to reach a final peace accord, which the Aquino administration is reportedly hoping to finish by 2016, when Aquino’s six-year term ends.
MSN clarified that the peace panel has yet to finalize details, especially on power-sharing and wealth-sharing between the future Bangsamoro administration and the Philippine government.
President Aquino also has to name a reliable and acceptable replacement for Marvic Leonen, the erstwhile chief government peace negotiator, who was recently appointed to the Supreme Court.
Likewise, Aquino will issue an Executive Order establishing the 15-member Transition Commission – eight chosen by the MILF and seven selected by the government – that will draft the Bangsamoro Basic Law, which will be sent to Congress for deliberations and approval as well as its signing by Aquino. A plebiscite and later an election for the Bangsamoro officials will then be held in the proposed Bangsamoro territory – a new entity that will replace the current Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM).
“This peace roadmap obviously is lengthy and complicated, but it is worth trying to end the senseless killings and the widespread poverty and misery of the majority in Mindanao, especially the masses, whether they’re Muslims, Lumads and Christians,” Herbert Demos, of the Socsksargen Workers Network-Alliance of Progressive Labor (SWN-APL), said. Socsksargen is South Cotobato, Sultan Kudarat, Sarangani, and Gen. Santos City.
MSN member organizations include Anak-Mindanao (AMIN), APL, Balay Rehabilitation Center, Binhi ng Kapayapaan, Center for Peace Education (CPE)-Miriam College, Gaston Zobel-Ortigas Peace Institute (GZOP), Generation Peace (GenPeace), Peacemakers’ Circle, Pinay Kilos (PINK), Pilipina, Young Moro Professionals (YMP), Initiatives for International Dialogue (IID), World March for Peace, and Claret Peace Weavers.