Moro women to GRP-MNLF: include women, civil society groups in tripartite review

In statement at the end of the two-day “All-Moro Women Conference on the Peace Processes: Realities and Options,” by the Bangsamoro Women Solidarity Forum, they also reiterated their call to have MNLF chair Nur Misuari freed, as he is “a symbol of Bangsamoro struggle on peace, justice and freedom.”

The women also urged government to “stop all military operations in Mindanao, Sulu, Tawi-tawi, Basilan and neighboring islands as these wreck the lives of communities and (are) counter-productive to the peace process.”

The women said that years after the signing of the 1996 FPA with the MNLF and amid the ongoing peace talks with the MILF, “our people are still suffering from injustices and oppression, are deprived of the blessings of peace and are continuously subjected to the devastating conditions of poverty and human insecurity.”

The women noted that “piece-meal negotiations to stall the peace process, increasing presence of military forces in our communities, enactment of laws that aim to stifle legitimate causes of the Bangsamoro and reduce their acts in connection thereto as acts of terrorism, further cause confusion and distrust against the Bangsamoro,” hence the need to have the “widest participation and involvement of stakeholders and those most affected by the conflict.”

“We call on the Bangsamoro mujahideen/muhahidat to increase their vigilance and to work with civil society organizations on the post-conflict road to meaningful peace so that we may live in productive and dignified existence, in harmony with all other peoples and with nature, and that we may spare our generations and future generations from the ravages of war.”

They also called on the government to “provide the promised resources, to put into reality its declared intentions and commitments to peace based on justice.”

Lasting peace in Mindanao, they said, can be achieved if the right to self-determiniation ”should always be upheld.”

The women also called on international donor instiuttiohns to direct their aid “towards the resolution of the root causes of the conflict,” and to support Moro initiatives in defining their development needs and aspirations

Conference participants listened to resource persons such as former senator, Dr. Leticia Ramos-Shahani; lawyer Randolph Parcasio, acting head of the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) delegation, in the Jeddah talks last November; Amina Rasul of the Philippine Council on Islam and Democracy, MILF peace panel member, Maulana Alonto and civil society representative, Atty. Suharto Ambolodto. (MindaNews)