Our CAB. Our Peace.
A Press Statement by All-Out
Peace (AOP) & Mindanao Peaceweavers (MPW) on CAB’s 3rd Anniversary
March 27, 2017
As we commemorate today’s
3rd Anniversary of the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro
(CAB), the All-Out Peace (AOP) and Mindanao Peaceweavers (MPW) renew
and further strengthen our support for this historic peace agreement,
and reiterate our collective resolve for a genuinely inclusive peace
roadmap that secures the present and the future not just of Bangsamoro
but of the whole nation.
AOP and MPW believe that
CAB, an instrument of genuine peace, “embodies and recognizes the
“justness and legitimacy of the cause of the Bangsamoro people and
their aspiration to chart their political future through a democratic
process that will secure their identity and prosperity, and allow for
meaningful self-governance”. It is in this context that we register
our support and call for the immediate enactment of a Bangsamoro
enabling law that reflects all principled and meaningful solutions to
seek a final answer to the Bangsamoro question and resolve the
decades-old Mindanao conflict.
Today, we re-affirm with
utmost urgency, our commitment to contribute, more significantly, to
peacebuilding – a strategy crucial to finding a viable peace formula
to help see through the conclusion of the Bangsamoro peace process
that would finally seal the democratic aspirations of the Bangsamoro
for their inherent right to self-determination towards a meaningful
and enduring peace.
Despite the setbacks
suffered by the CAB in recent years, starting with the unfortunate
incident in Mamasapano and the failure of the 16th Congress to pass a
BBL, we believe that the CAB, and those who believe in it, have
weathered the storm. Believing that the CAB is a product not only of
political negotiations between the Bangsamoro and the Philippine
government but of the peacebuilding communities’ decades of
peacemaking, we are here today, stronger and with a firmer resolve to
persevere and defend the political promise and peaceful vision of what
we claim as Our CAB.
In the immediate, we
respectfully urge the administration of President Rodrigo Duterte, the
implementing peace panels, the Bangsamoro Transition Commission (BTC)
to fast track the peace process as we cannot afford anymore delay. The
strategy of the new administration to actually build on what has been
accomplished in the past and to continue previous commitments,
including the implementation of signed agreements from past
administrations is a welcome development.
Already, even if an enabling
law is yet to be hammered by the BTC and enacted by Congress, a
Transitional Justice and Reconciliation Commission mandated by the CAB
has delivered on its major task by issuing a report and proposing
recommendations primarily based on extensive consultations in the
Bangsamoro areas. We urge President Duterte to heed its
recommendations particularly of establishing a Transitional Justice
and Reconcilation Commission for the Bangsamoro (NTJRCB) that shall
ensure the implementation of the ‘dealing with the past’ framework and
promote healing and reconciliation.
Now, more than ever, we are
optimistic and hopeful that in the spirit and principles of the CAB
and other related peace agreements, history will be on our side and
will offer a new round of golden opportunity for the enactment of a
Bangsamoro enabling law to rectify the injustices committed not just
against the Bangsamoro, the indigenous peoples of Mindanao, but for
all the oppressed peoples of our nation. We are determined to win this
‘war’ against war. In the success of the peace process rests our
peaceful and democratic future.