Our CAB. Our Peace. Our Future.

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) thatshall 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. ###

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