Chair of Bangsamoro Women’s Committee urges MNLF leaders to unite

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/27 Feb) — The chair of the Moro National Liberation Front’s Bangsamoro Women’s Committee has appealed to the leaders of the MNLF to set aside their differences and unite for the sake of the Bangsamoro masses “who have fought, bled and died,” whose mothers, sisters and daughters “have been widowed” and  the masses “who have been orphaned and displaced by war.”

Hadja Bainon Karon, Women’s Committee chair, made this appeal at the closing rites of the two-day Tripartite Review meeting of the Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GPH)- MNLF – Organization of Islamic Conference (OIC),  in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia on February 23.

“I am appealing to the MNLF leaders to make up for their differences and consider the status and situation of our brothers and sisters in the ground for us to move on in crafting the destiny of our people particularly the Bangsamoro People,” she said.

Karon’s speech was posted on the website of the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP) which also posted the opening speech of Secretary Teresita Quintos-Deles, Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process.

The opening statement of MNLF founding chair Nur Misuari  has not been made available.

Karon appealed to the MNLF leadership to “consider the suffering of the Bangsamoro Muslims. It is not only us, the leaders, who have sacrificed for our Agama (Faith), Bangsa (Nation), and Lupah/Inged (Homeland). It is the masses of the Bangsamoro Muslims who have fought, bled, and died.  It is the masses of the Bangsamoro Muslims whose mothers, sisters, and daughters who have been widowed. It is the masses of the Bangsamoro Muslims who have been orphaned and displaced by the war,” she said.

Karon said the 1996 Final Peace Agreement “should have delivered peace to the Bangsamoro Muslims” in what is now the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao. She expressed hope that the Tripartite Review on the implementation of the 1996 peace pact “will deliver peace, security,
Karon was with two other civil society representatives – Bai Yasmin Busran Lao of Lanao del Sur  and Fatmawati Salapuddin of Sulu – as observers.
“This is also in line with Philippine Government’s commitment on the United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325 on Women, Peace and Security.  And I am proud to inform our brothers in the MNLF that, through the effort of our sisters, the issue of the Bangsamoro women and the Indigenous Peoples were included in this UN Resolution,” she said.

Karon clarified that their participation in the meeting was voluntary.
“We’re not hired or paid by the Philippine Government.  We’re here because we wanted to contribute in whatever ways in the crafting of the Peace and Development Programs for the Bangsamoro People in general,” she said. (MindaNews)