Even if not consulted, Bishops-Ulama Forum supports Framework Agreement

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 26 Nov) – Despite not being officially consulted by the government on the peace process with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), the Bishops-Ulama Conference (BUC) will continue its activities for peace in Mindanao and support the Framework Agreement on Bangsamoro (FAB).

Ustadz Mahmod Mala L. Adilao, BUC regional chairperson, said Monday in the regular Kapehan sa Dabaw at SM City Davao that he does not know why the BUC has not received any official invitation from the government despite being an adviser or consultant in the peace process during former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo’s term.

Adilao said the entire country knew when the BUC, a dialogue forum, was established in 1996 and yet the Aquino administration has not involved it in the peace process between the Government of the Philippines (GPH) and the MILF.

“But it does not mean we won’t help in the Framework Agreement,” he told reporters.

He said, however, that while the Muslim community is happy about the signing of the FAB, most of them do not understand the FAB and where it will take them is still unknown.

Adilao said they are still reviewing the FAB and find out how exactly they can help.

Noting that the BUC is composed of Muslim and Christian scholars and leaders, Adilao said they will continue their objectives for peace and development in Mindanao, the Philippines, and the international community.

He cited the Mindanao Week of Peace on November 29 to December 5 as one of the activities that the BUC has vowed to continue.

The activities for a week-long celebration include a forum on the theme “Love of God and love of neighbor, a challenge for Mindanao,” on November 29 at the BUC conference hall in Matina in this city.

In the same venue, the BUC will hold a forum on the FAB on December 3, and a workshop dubbed “Journey to Wholeness” on December 4.

Also at the Kapehan, Antonio Apat, chair of Agong Network, a partner of the BUC in its activities especially for the grassroots in Mindanao, said the group has set a series of information and education campaign on the FAB in different areas in Mindanao.

He added that the group supports the FAB, more so that they want to make sure that this will become successful. (Lorie Ann A. Cascaro / MindaNews)