Updates Per Peace Table

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Filipinos celebrate Bangsamoro peace deal’s first anniversary with peace march, book launching, children's healing workshop and Bangsamoro history forum

 

MANILA – Architects and champions of the peace process in Mindanao will mark the first anniversary of the signing of the landmark Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro (CAB) on Friday, March 27.

About two thousand peace advocates from different organizations will mark the celebration with a walk for peace at the Quezon Memorial Circle on Friday morning from 7:00 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. to highlight the significance of the anniversary. The CAB was entered between the Philippine government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), capping the over 17 years of negotiations, at Malacanan on March 27 last year.

Dubbed as “SUROY-SUROY SA KALINAW: Kapayapaan sa Mindanao, Kapayapaan Nating Lahat,” the event is a multi-sectoral initiative to demonstrate the support of different sectors to the peace process and to recognize the CAB as a significant milestone in the journey to peace in Mindanao.
         
Participating civil society and non-government organizations are All-Out Peace, Balay Rehabilitation Center, Caucus of Development NGO Networks (CODE-NGO), Center for Peace Education, Friends of the Bangsamoro (FoBM), Generation Peace, GZO Peace Institute, Generation Peace Youth Network (GZO), International Center for Transformation, Innovation and Excellence in Governance (INCITEGov), Initiative for International Dialogue (IID), KOMPRE, Makati Business Club (MBC), Mindanao Solidarity Network (MSN), National Commission on Muslim Filipinos (NCMF), National Youth Commission (NYC), People Power Volunteers for Reform (PPVR), Philippine Business for Social Progress (PBSP), Philippine Center for Islam and Democracy (PCID), Professors for Peace, Women Engaged in Action on 1325 (WE Act 1325), Young Public Servants (YPS), among others. 

To goal of the event is “to show that CSOs are coming together to support and commemorate the CAB Signing.” Leaders of various civil society groups and government institutions are expected to grace the event and give messages in support of the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL), the legal iteration of the CAB, and the peace agreement.

Amid the criticisms assailing the BBL as a result of the Mamasapano incident, “the call for an all-out war should be balanced by a stronger call for an all-out peace; thus the consolidation of peace constituents from various sectors,” the organizers said.

The event will feature performing artists such as Bayang Barrios, Kooky Chua, Noel Cabangon and Joey Ayala to show solidarity for peace.

At the same time, about 2,500 children who are internally displaced victims of armed conflict and currently residing in evacuation centers will participate in a personal healing dialogue dubbed as "Children's Dialogue thru Art" at Mahad Al-Islamiya in Libutan, Maguindanao. This event is initiated by the Our Peace Movement (OPM), comprised of various partner networks of civil society organizations in Manila and Mindanao.   

To provide context and better understanding on the Bangsamoro identity, the National Historical Commission of the Philippines (NHCP) will also hold “A Forum on the Bangsamoro in National History” in its main building at T.M. Kalaw Street, Ermita, Manila, from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon.

The Commission said the activity “hopes to bring about a better appreciation of the history of the Bangsamoro and the Muslim Filipinos, and their singular role in the making of the Filipino nation, a subject of timely significance, especially in light of the current deliberation on the Bangsamoro Basic Law.”

The NHCP has invited historians and resource persons of note, to lecture on the different periods of Muslim Filipino history:
• Dr. Ma. Bernadette G. Abrera (UP Diliman) -- “Early Muslim Filipinos and the Onset of Colonization;”)
•Dr. Cecilia B. Tangian (Marawi State University-Iligan Institute of Technology), -- “Muslim Filipinos’ Reaction to Spanish Colonization;”
•Dr. Ricardo Trota Jose (UP Diliman) -- “Muslim Filipinos and the Making of a Nation,” and
•Dr. Renato Oliveros (Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila) -- “Muslim Filipinos in Contemporary Times”

At 5:30 p.m., the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process will be launching three publications at the Baluarte de San Diego Gardens, Intramuros, Manila, namely “Getting to Peace: Opening Statements from the GPH-MILF Peace Talks (2011-2014),” “In Defense of the Bangsamoro Basic Law: Selected Essays,” and “Kababaihan at Kapayapaan Magazine (Issue no. 3),” OPAPP bared.

“Getting to Peace: Opening Statements from the GPH-MILF Peace Talks (2011-2014)”  is a compilation of statements that were delivered by the chief negotiators – Associate Justice Marvic Leonen, Prof. Miriam Coronel-Ferrer and Mohagher Iqbal -- during the formal peace negotiations under the Aquino administration.  

The book “In Defense of the Bangsamoro Basic Law: Selected Essays,” are composed mainly of speeches and essays articulated in several peace forums and discussions on the southern Philippines peace process. The authors are Government of the Philippines peace panel chair Miriam Coronel-Ferrer, GPH peace panel member Senen Bacani, GPH Technical Working Group head Jose Luis Martin Gascon, the head of peace panel’s legal team Atty. Anna Tarhata Basman, University of the Philippines College of Muslim Affairs Dean Julkipli Wadi, retired Justice Adolf Azcuna, and the framers of the 1987 Constitution.   

Along with the books, the “Kababaihan at Kapayapaan Magazine” will also release its third edition with stories of women advocating peace in the country. 

The launching of the publications come with a renewed sense of commitment to ensure the passage of the BBL to cap the years of negotiations for a just and lasting peace in Mindanao, Coronel-Ferrer said.
 
She noted that proponents of the peace agreement between the Philippine government and the MILF want to reaffirm their commitment to President Benigno S. Aquino III’s declaration at the signing of the CAB a year ago to “not let the peace that we have all worked for be snatched from our people again.” Coronel-Ferrer added that the event is likewise a call to the Filipino people to support the peace process. 

“We want to emphasize that while the congressional deliberations have been delayed by the Mamasapano incident, the peace process continues. We are confident that members of our Congress, with the commitment of its leaders, would ensure passage of the BBL in line with their own commitment to the success of the peace process,” Coronel-Ferrer said.

These activities will raise public awareness and understanding of the BBL and the peace agreement which is necessary to the passage of the draft law by Congress and its later implementation. A recent survey showed that majority of Filipinos do not have sufficient knowledge of the contents of the draft law and the peace agreement, which have made public opinion towards these vulnerable to the manipulation of its critics and oppositors.