FRIENDS OF THE BANGSAMORO: Rallying Behind the Promise of HB 4994

We, members and supporters of the nascent coalition “FRIENDS OF THE BANGSAMORO (FoB)”, express our appreciation and support for the open and participative process in the Ad Hoc Committee of the House of Representatives tasked to guide the birth of the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL). We are encouraged by the openness and willingness of the committee and other House members to engage with civil society organizations and their supporters, both outside as well as in the halls of Congress. The first Committee hearing on the BBL (House Bill 4994) gave an encouraging sign towards an open, participative and inclusive law-crafting process in the enactment of HB 4994 also known as Senate Bill 2408.

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THE RIGHT TO HUMAN SECURITY IS THE RIGHT TO PEACE: GPPAC-SEA Statement on the Celebration of the International Day of Peace

Today, September 21st, the community of nations and the peoples of the world commemorate the International Day of Peace, with the UN’s theme “The Right of Peoples to Peace”.

In the face of continuing oppression of Muslim Rohingyas and other indigenous ethnic peoples in Burma, martial law in Thailand and unabated political repression in Cambodia, Laos and Malaysia, the wars and the deaths of hundreds of thousands in Syria, Libya and Iraq, the persistent killings and violence in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Congo, Mali and South Sudan, as well as the brewing tensions in Sabah, in the South China Sea and in the East-Timor maritime borders, we wonder how much we can celebrate. However, starting from the realization that we have not done enough, today, it is important for us to renew our commitment and reinforce our efforts for peace.

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Defining Our Roadmap to Peace: The Promise of HB 4994

The Initiatives for International Dialogue (IID) mark today as a new stage in the quest for peace and development in the conflict-affected regions of Muslim Mindanao. We laud and express our appreciation for the peace panels of both the government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), their various offices and agencies involved in the various processes, the long list of supporters, advocates and observers, both local and international, who have all helped in keeping the peace process on track despite the many hurdles and challenges lodged in its way. We take this time to make special mention of the Bangsamoro Transition Commission (BTC) and the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP) and their leadership, who at times came across as unassailable rivals yet in the end, chose to stay the course, walk in step, seek compromise, then consensus and complete the task laid before them.

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Reaffirming Our Solidarity for Peace In Mindanao and Our Commitment to Accompanying the Bangsamoro Peace Process

We, members of the Mindanao PeaceWeavers, gathered in Davao City for a two-day Convenors Meeting to consider the state of peace in Mindanao and take stock of important lessons in the work of helping create a hopeful future for the region.

We recognize the enormous challenges that still need to be surmounted in order to address the various conflicts that weigh down development efforts and continue to consign the lives of millions of people to lingering uncertainties.

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