Civil society organizations in Mindanao under the Bangsamoro Platform for Unity, Solidarity and Harmony (BM-PUSH) on Tuesday, July 18, declared support for the new Bangsamoro Basic Law submitted by the expanded Bangsamoro Transition Commission to President Rodrigo Duterte, noting that ensuring lasting peace in Mindanao goes beyond the conflict in Marawi.
The groups signed a manifesto in a media conference at EM Manor Hotel in Cotabato City on Tuesday to formalize their support for the draft basic law aimed at providing comprehensive solutions for the decades-long conflict in Mindanao.
The manifesto, which denounced “any kind of terrorism” said:
“Although it may not be a perfect law, it is the best alternative path to peace, progress and development in Mindanao. Since the proposed law is already in the hands of the President, we, the Civil Society Organizations, appeal whole-heartedly to President Rodrigo Roa Duterte to fast track the passage of the BBL as submitted by the BTC by certifying it as an ‘urgent bill.”
BM-PUSH is composed of seven civil society networks in Mindanao: People’s Coalition for ARMM Reform and Transformation (People’s CART); Mindanao Alliance for Peace (MAP); Consortium of Bangsamoro Civil Society (CBCS); Women Organization Movement of the Bangsamoro (WOMB); Federation of Bangsamoro CSO; League of Bangsamoro Organizations (LBO); and the Community Organizers Multiversity (COM).
These networks count memberships of around 500 people’s organizations, grassroots organizations, non-governmental organizations, as well as multi-sectoral organizations, including Moro and non-Moro groups, in different provinces of Mindanao.
“The conflict in Mindanao has been going on for 48 years. We have seen all sorts of solutions implemented and yet, conflict persists,” Duma Mascud of the People’s CART said.
“This CSO gathering signifies our unified intent to stand collectively and show our support for the submission of the new Bangsamoro Basic Law. We believe that the proposed BBL will provide the best alternative to the attainment of lasting peace in Mindanao. It will address not only the current Marawi crisis but also the causes of armed conflict in Mindanao rooted in historical injustices and absence of durable solutions to peace,” he added.
BM-PUSH welcomed President Duterte’s commitment to push for the creation of a Bangsamoro political entity during his term. Members of the Bangsamoro Transition submitted the draft law in formal ceremonies in Malacañang on Monday, July 17.
Read the manifesto below:
Notes to editors:
International NGO Oxfam supports the BM-PUSH campaign through its partner, the Community Organizers Multiversity.
For inquiries, please contact:
Joel Cadelina of People’s CART at 0906 822 0627
Duma Mascud of People’s CART at 0936 188 6799
Evhoy Villaruel of CO Multiversity at 0917 720 1893.