The Federation of Bangsamoro Civil Society Organization (FBCSO) guest speaker, Atty. Anwar Malang, representing Regional Governor Mujiv Hataman of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) exhorted that the Bangsamoro people must have common definition on the right to self-determination. His remark was conveyed before a crowd of more than 200 individuals attending the launching ceremony of the Federation of Bangsamoro Civil Society (FBCSO) at Al Nor Hotel and Restaurant, Cotabato City on April 30, 2016.
The statement was premised in the light of the aspiration of the Bangsamoro people for self-determination as embodied in the Framework Agreement on the Bangsamoro (FAB), the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro (CAB) and the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL).
He said, this FBCSO must be partisan as compared to the nation’s mainstream CSOs because until and unless this aspiration had been realized, it must be asserted in every endeavor of the federation.
Other important guests in the launching were one Malaysian officer of the International Monitoring Team (IMT), Director Mahmod Ahmad of the Bangsamoro Leadership and Management Institute (BLMI), and Hon. Mohagher Iqbal Chairman of the Bangsamoro Transition Commission (BTC) and the MILF Peace Panel.
Chairman Iqbal on his part explained the reason behind the non-passage of the BBL. He said the outstanding reason thereof was that the anti-BBL in Congress is much stronger than the pro-BBL therein. For him, the issue of shortage of time was an artificial reason citing that “the BBL was pending in Congress for more than one year.”
The BTC Chair is hopeful that the next administration will facilitate the passage of the BBL that is compliant to the CAB. He related that the MILF is committed to pursue the peace process despite the failure of the Philippine Congress to pass the measure.
The IMT officer explained the nature and functions of their group, namely: a. Six countries in the group; b. They are 37 individual members; c. International in character; d. Independent in their dealings; e. They monitor the ceasefire agreement; and f. They monitor the socio-economic and the civilian protection components.
Prof. Abdullah P. Salik heads the FBCSO that has 115 civil society members at present and still growing in number.
CAB provides the passage of the BBL. The legislation, once passed that will pave way for the establishment of the autonomous Bangsamoro government which has more political and fiscal powers.
The establishment of Bangsamoro government is deemed to answer the clamour of the Bangsamoro people for self-rule.