It is with profound shock and sorrow that we view the events as yet unfolding in the surrounds of Mamasapano in Maguindanao. Our hearts bleed at the carnage wrought and the needless loss of Filipino lives brought on by a series of decisions, events, judgment calls and developments that may never be fully and publicly unraveled. We extend our deepest condolences to those who’ve lost loved ones, and bear with those now undeservedly suffering in its aftermath. We can even understand the grief, rancor and rage now simmering as a visceral response by many to these events. We are aware and empathize with these feelings and emotions to a degree. Yet despite this and to all we still say, stay the course of peace, for it remains our best recourse.
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.
Today, we peace advocates and supporters gathered, take this occasion to mark the first public hearing on the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL), now lodged with Congress as House Bill 4994. This historic piece of legislation was birthed in conflict and nurtured in a hopeful peace. For many of us here today, the BBL holds a big part of Mindanao’s promise and destiny in its hands. We take the time and mark this day for what it has cost generations past, yet stand resolute and unbowed at the daunting task still ahead for all of us who are invested and engaged in these processes.
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.