THE BANGSAMORO PEACE AGREEMENT IS OURS TOO!

gppac-sea-logoWE are peace activists, academics and civil society actors coming from different countries in Southeast Asia, who participated in the first international peace and solidarity mission to Bangsamoro.

We belong to the Global Partnership for the Prevention of Armed Conflict (GPPAC), a worldwide network of civil society committed to changing the paradigm of reacting to preventing conflicts.

We are here to extend our full support for the Bangsamoro peace process.

The Comprehensive Agreement of the Bangsamoro (CAB) epitomizes the fruit of the long and valiant struggle of the Moro people in their quest for their self-determination. Finally, the Moro people will be the masters of their own fate and destiny. They will reap the bounty of their own land, enjoy the produce of their own resources, live and govern their own territory that have been exploited with wanton abandon by outsiders. And they will govern themselves through their own processes and traditions with their identity as a people preserved and asserted.

It is our hope that this milestone agreement is embodied in the ensuing Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) that will be passed by the Philippine Congress. We also join the Moro and Filipino peoples in their hope that the 2016 Plebiscite will also reflect the true aspirations of the Bangsamoro peoples.

We are here to say that the Bangsamoro agreement has inspired and encouraged us in our own struggles for self-determination, freedom and democracy.

The success of peace in the Bangsamoro is not just for the peoples of the Bangsamoro and the Philippines, but ours as well in region.

We are meanwhile mindful of the concerns raised by stakeholders whom we met in Cotabato and Manila during our visit with regards to inclusivity of the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) and the delay in its submission to the Congress of the Philippines. We hope that these concerns are listened to and addressed.

We are aware that a very important document, nay, milestone like this require the utmost due diligence from the principal actors.

While no conflict nor peace agreement is the same, we hope that as the process moves from the historic peace agreement to its translation into reality, it is important that lessons are also learned from past peace processes specially in the region, particularly in Timor Leste and Aceh, that should not be repeated in the Bangsamoro.

The Initiatives for International Dialogue is the Secretariat of GPPAC-SEA

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