CSOs submit initial results of consultations on Bangsamoro Basic Law

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/09 Feb) – Representatives from Mindanao’s civil society will convene at the Royal Mandaya Hotel here on February 10 to 12 to hand over initial results of the community consutations they conducted on the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) and discuss issues on the transition to the Bangsamoro, the new autonomous political entity that the Philippine government (GPH) and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF)  had agreed to set up to replace the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM).

Mohagher Iqbal, MILF peace panel chair and conccurent chair of the 15-member Bangsamoro Transition Commission (BTC) that is drafting the BBL, will accept the resuts of on behalf of the Commission on Tuesday afternoon.

The summit’s theme is “Developing Synergies and Enhanced Cooperation in Accompanying the Transition Towards Bangsamoro.”

The summit coincides with the 2nd ARMM LGU (Local Government Units) Summit on Governance and Development at the Waterfront Insular Hotel on February 11 and 12, which will be graced by President Aquino on Tuesday.

The ARMM Summit’s theme is “Strengthening Regional Stakeholders’ Partnership towards Revitalized ARMM in Transition to Bangsamoro.”

Civil society organizations in Mindanao have been accompanying the peace process between the GPH and MILF, as well as the transition, several of them conducting community consultations on the BBL.

Prof. Octavio Dinampo of Tulung Lupah Sug in Sulu; Bae Magdalena Suhat of the Federation of Matigsalug and Manobo Council of Elders in Bukidnon; and Sister Maria Arnold Noel, SPPS of the Mindanao Solidarity Network in Manila, will speak on the theme while Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process Teresita Quintos-Deles will deliver a response at the opening on Monday.

Masuda Shinichi of the Japanese International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and Sam Chittick, International Advisor of the United Nations-World Bank-MILF partnership dubbed Facility for Advisory Support for Transition Capacities (FASTRAC) will also speak at the opening rites.

On Tuesday morning, February 11, lawyer and former Iligan City mayor Franklin Quijano, now of the Pailig Academy for Grassroots Democracy (PAGD) will facilitate a plenary workshop on the “Critical Review and Discussion of the Framework Agreement on the Bangsamoro and its Annexes.”

On Tuesday afternoon, groups that partnered with the BTC on the conduct of consultations with various sectors on the Bangsamoro Basic Law, will submit initial results to Iqbal.

The BTC and the Mindanao Civil Society Organization Platform for Peace (MCSOPP) signed in October last year a memorandum of agreement on the conduct of “public engagements and consultations from the drafting of the Basic Law up to its enactment.”

The commnity consultations were done by MCSOPP members, among them the Lanao Peace Partnership, Basilan Consulting Team, North Cotabato Consulting Team, Women Engaged in Action on 1325, Alliance of Progressive Labor, Arumanen Manuvu Tribe and Mindanao Peoples Caucus/Bantay Ceasefire.

Four breakout workshops will be held after a press conference:  Congressional Engagements and Dialogues which will be facilitated by former Akbayan party-list Rep. Patricia Sarenas, now chair of the Mindanao Coalition of Development Networks (Mincode) and Randy Pontreras;  Conduct of Public Consultations which will be facilitated by Mary Ann Arnado, Secretariat Head of the MCSOPP; Information, Education and Communication (IEC) and the News Media; Synergizing with the BTC Comm Group Initiatives, to be moderated by Ryan Rosauro of the Lanao Peace Partnership (LPP); and   Resource Mobilization which will be moderated by Guiamel Alim of the Consortium on Bangsamoro Civil Society.

Wednesday’s saession will involve planning at the province level as well as a “Peace Synergies Market,”  where participant/groups can “discuss among one another, share documents, materials, plans, information, ask for help, complement resources, offer services, invite speakers, exchange numbers, emails, tap sponsors, give feedback, discover new ideas, link one group to another, refer a donor, recommend a trainor, facilitator or speaker, approach the media, etc..”

The afternoon session on Wednesday will include a review of the coordination mechnisms and finalization of working committees and steering committee. (MindaNews)