BBL Best Solution to End Armed Conflict in Mindanao

Rally to support BBL
Rally to support BBL

Manila, Philipines, 9 Jumadil Akhir/19 March 2016 (MINA) – The enactment into law of the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) remains the best solution to end the armed conflict in Mindanao, the Swiss-led Transitional Justice and Reconciliation Commission (TJRC) said in its report.

The TJRC report said the legislation of a Bangsamoro law that provides for a political and institutional infrastructure pursuant to the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro (CAB) could guarantee the non-recurrence of the Mindanao armed conflict.

“The TJRC recommendations cannot replace a durable peace agreement and its legal framework,” TJRC chairperson Mô Bleeker said.

“Solving the Bangsamoro situation in a durable manner offers a unique opportunity for a modern state to manage the diversity inherent in any modern democracy in a constructive manner,” Bleeker said.

Bleeker added “the Bangsamoro also aspire to a political framework, which will enable them to practice good governance, to develop their region and their people, to proudly assert their identity and to ensure a constructive engagement with their own multi-ethnic constituency.”

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“The implementation of the CAB is a unique and extraordinary opportunity not only for Bangsamoro, but also for the whole Filipino nation,” Bleeker said.

The CAB offers an opportunity for the historical and cultural resilience of the Bangsamoro and indigenous peoples to be recognized as a vibrant and constructive part of the Philippines, based on the acknowledgment of plural identities, Mi’raj Islamic News Agency (MINA) reported, quoting Philstar.

“This is indeed a historical opportunity for the Bangsamoro and a historical opportunity for the Philippines,” the TJRC report said.

The report was launched in Cotabato City earlier this week in an event attended by Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process Teresita Quintos-Deles, government peace panel head Miriam Coronel-Ferrer and Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) peace panel chairman Mohagher Iqbal, along with concerned sectors and local officials.

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As stipulated in the CAB, the TJRC was mandated to undertake a study and to make recommendations, based on consultations and expert studies, with a view to promote healing and reconciliation among the conflict-affected communities in the Bangsamoro.

The TJRC report was a product of consultations with more than 210 Moro, indigenous and settler communities in Mindanao and the Sulu archipelago, involving some 3,000 community members and local officials.

During the launching Deles revealed that Executive Secretary Paquito Ochoa Jr. issued a memorandum of instruction to the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP) to put the recommendations in the TJRC report in motion.

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Deles said the memorandum includes the endorsement of the TJRC report to concerned government agencies with their review, assessment and implementation of the recommendations.

The memorandum also seeks to identify and mobilize resources to support the programs that may be implemented.

In addition, the OPAPP is also mandated to encourage and initiate activities toward the mainstreaming and popularization of the framework for transitional justice and reconciliation. Finally, the OPAPP is required to present a report to the executive secretary on compliance with the instructions.

Swiss Ambassador Andrea Reichlin lauded the TJRC for its significant contribution to the peace process. (T/R07/R01)

Mi’raj Islamic News Agency (MINA)