Presidentiables dared: Speak out, make a stand on Bangsamoro peace agreement
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“For any candidate who aims to assume the Presidency, having a concrete stand on how he or she will continue to implement the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro (CAB) is crucial. Silence or refusal to discuss this issue is inexcusable and a craven abdication of their moral duty to deliver just peace in Mindanao.”
Thus said Gus Miclat of Mindanao-based peace-advocacy group Initiatives for International Dialogue (IID), in line with the commemoration of the 2nd year of the CAB, the “final peace agreement signed by the Government of the Philippines (GPH) and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) on March 27, 2014.
IID asserted that the CAB embodies 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”.
Miclat added, “Two presidential debates were already held, yet almost all our candidates remain inarticulate or pretend to be clueless on the relevance of the CAB as an instrument of genuine peace, not only for Mindanao but for the whole country. What we have heard so far were motherhood statements bereft of any concrete plans for implementation.”
It will be remembered that the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL), a major component of the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro (CAB), which was signed by the Aquino administration and the MILF, failed to pass in both the House of Representatives and Senate until its final session last month.
Miclat explained, “Peacemaking should be an integral part of a presidential candidate’s platform. Talking and debating about BBL and the CAB during political campaigns are therefore necessary. But with the way they conduct themselves during public debates, they have restricted themselves too much, that one may wonder is it taboo to talk about peace?”
“Remembering the significance of the second anniversary of CAB signing will be meaningless and empty if we do not at all renew and further strengthen our support for this historic peace agreement,” Miclat concluded.
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