CSOs to hold peace rallies in Mindanao in support of GPH-MILF talks

COTABATO CITY(MindaNews/28 January)—Civil society organizations in Mindanao will conduct simultaneous peace rallies, dubbed “Drums for Peace,” in key cities in the island on Wednesday (January 29) to drumbeat support to the peace process between the Government of the Philippines (GPH) and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF).

Organized by the Mindanao Peoples Caucus (MPC) in partnership with other nongovernment organizations working for peace in the island, the peace rallies will be held in the cities of Cotabato, Zamboanga, Davao, Iligan, Marawi and General Santos from 10 a.m. to 12 noon.

Lawyer Mary Ann Arnado said they organized the peace rally in support and as thanksgiving to the signing of the Annex on Normalization, the last of the four annexes to the Framework Agreement on the Bangsamoro (FAB).

The GPH and MILF peace panels clinched the normalization annex last Saturday during the 43rd Formal Exploratory Talks in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

The normalization annex seeks the gradual decommissioning of MILF forces, put them beyond use and transform them to become productive members of society.

“Let us all unite and show our support to the GPH-MILF peace process. Let us remain vigilant and intensify our work for the signing of the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro (CAB) and its full implementation,” Arnado said.

GPH peace panel chair Prof. Miriam Coronel-Ferrer lauded the initiative of the civil society organizations to support the southern peace process.

“Kung mayroon po kayong mungkahi o kung may mga issues na kailangan sa amin bukas po ang aming opisina sa Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process at handa po kaming pakinggan kayong lahat (If you have recommendations or issues that you want us to address, the doors of the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process is open to listen to you),” Ferrer said.

With all the four annexes to the FAB completed, this will pave the way for the signing of the CAB, the final peace deal between the GPH and the MILF.

The parties have agreed on the Annexes on Transitional Arrangements and Modalities, Wealth Sharing and Revenue Generation, and Power Sharing last year also in Malaysia, the third party facilitator.

The FAB seeks to replace the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao in 2016 with the Bangsamoro government, which will be created once the Bangsamoro Basic Law is enacted. The Bangsamoro Transition Commission is currently drafting the proposed BBL.

Arnado urged those who will join the peace rallies in the different parts of Mindanao to bring peace-themed tarpaulins and agongs and kulintangs (traditional musical instruments), and wear peace t-shirts to drumbeat their support to the CAB.

The MPC, a grassroots network of Moro, Christian and Lumad leaders in Mindanao, is organizing the peace rally in partnership with the Consortium of Bangsamoro Civil Society, Peace Advocates Zamboanga and Mindanao Human Rights Action Center, among other groups.

The Mindanao Coalition of Development NGOs, a coalition of 12 networks of non-government organizations and people’s organizations in Mindanao, which is chaired by Patricia Sarenas, also vowed to support the next steps towards the creation of the Bangsamoro government. (MindaNews)

URL: http://www.mindanews.com/top-stories/2014/01/28/csos-to-hold-peace-rallies-in-mindanao-in-support-of-gph-milf-talks/


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