Tag: BBL

May 25 2015

DEALING WITH FELLOW CHRISTIAN LEADERS OPPOSING THE BBL

dinner-with-iq

After a few weeks of a series of meetings with Church leaders and executives of certain Christian organizations who are passionately opposed to the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL), I find it refreshing to be with my fellow peace advocates from the civil society and having a very informal and relaxed dialogue with Chair Mohagher Iqbal of MILF Peace Panel.

BBL is Bangsamoro Basic Law. It is a product of the final peace deal between the Philippine government and the the Moro Islamic Liberation Front; it seeks to address decades-old grievances by creating a new regional government with greater fiscal and political powers than the current Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao.

In the past 25 days, I chose 25 of my fellow leaders who have expressed either their explicit disagreement against the Bangsamoro Basic Law (NO TO BBL!) or their implicit fear or doubt about it on their respective Facebook pages.

  • When asked if they have read the BBL, 23 said ‘No’ and 2 said ‘Yes’. Later, during the actual discussions, the 2 persons admitted they simply heard what’s in it from TV.
  • When asked to identify at least an item in the BBL they disagree with, 12 said they do not trust the Moros/Muslims; 8 said they don’t want the Muslims/Moros to take control of Mindanao; 5 said Muslims/Moros are terrorists/violent/rebels/outlaw.
  • When sent an information link about the subject being discussed, 21 ignored them and replied immediately; 4 of them said they’ll read it and later replied with more rational approach, even in their continuing disagreement.
  • When asked about their idea of alternative path for peace, 12 said that the Moros have to surrender their arms first then have peace talks; 5 said that the Moros must submit to the government because it’s what the Bible says; 6 said use force to stop their terrorism; 2 did not bother to answer.

I and my peacebuilding colleagues still have a lot of work to do in educating our fellow Christian leaders here about peace and reconciliation in the context of our land.

God, have mercy on our people and our land.

 

 

Permanent link to this article: http://waves.ca/2015/05/25/dealing-with-fellow-christian-leaders-opposing-the-bb/

Apr 10 2015

WE HELPED FACILITATE AN EVANGELICAL DISCUSSION ON CHRISTIAN-MUSLIM PEACE PROCESS

bblposter-ccbc

06 April 2015. The Philippine Council of Evangelical Church gathered around 200 Christian leaders from all over the country to talk about the controversial Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL). Together with the peace negotiating panels from both the Government of the Philippines (GPH) and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), PCEC and PBCI spearheaded a forum dubbed “Understanding the Impact of the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) on Christianity in the Philippines.” It was held on April 6 at the Capitol City Baptist Church, 111 West Avenue, Quezon City.

The BBL is a product of the final peace deal between the Philippine government and the the Moro Islamic Liberation Front, and seeks to address decades-old grievances by creating a new regional government with greater fiscal and political powers than the current Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao.

Mohagher Iqbal, Chair of the Peace Negotiating Panel of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) presented the MILF Peace Panel perspective on the BBL. Secretary Teresita Quintos Deles from the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP), meanwhile, presented on “The BBL from the perspective of the Government Peace Panel”.

PCEC National Director Bishop Noel Pantoja (my younger brother) facilitated the ensuing open forum, while I led a workshop on Peace and Reconciliation in the afternoon.

 

Permanent link to this article: http://waves.ca/2015/04/10/we-helped-facilitate-evangelical-discussion-on-christian-muslim-peace-process/

Sep 10 2014

SO HAPPY THAT THE BBL IS NOW IN THE LEGISLATIVE BRANCH

bbl-submitted to congress

A few hours ago, President Benigno Simeon Aquino III submitted the Draft Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) to Congress as an urgent bill.

Although we have celebrated the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro (CAB) which is a politically negotiated document, BBL is a legislative and legal document that will be open to scrutiny of all — both the ‘doves’ (those who are genuinely supporting the peace process based on justice for all stakeholders) and the ‘hawks’ (those who would lose so much wealth and power if war in Mindanao would actually cease) in all branches of our government (executive, legislative, judiciary) and all segments and sectors of our society.

We have been praying that the drafting of the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) by the Transition Commission would reflect the just and peaceful aspirations of all the Moro people, all the various tribes among the Indigenous Peoples, as well as the Migrants in Mindanao.

Now, we must also pray that this Draft Bangsamoro Basic Law would pass the careful, responsible examination and deliberation in the House of Representatives and the Senate using the lenses of justice, righteousness, and peace for all.

Peace and blessings!

Permanent link to this article: http://waves.ca/2014/09/10/so-happy-that-the-bbl-is-now-in-the-legislative-branch/

Aug 20 2014

OUR SUPPORT FOR THE BANGSAMORO IS BASED ON A SPIRITUAL PERSPECTIVE

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Representatives of civil society organizations deliver a statement of support to the respective chairpersons of the GPH and MILF Peace Panels. 04 August 2014, Waterfront Insular Hotel, Davao City. Photo Courtesy: OPAPP

The positive attitude of PeaceBuilders Community towards the Bangsamoro is energized by our peace theology.

While being supportive and actively praying for the success of the peace negotiations between the Government of the Philippines (GPH) and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), our hope for the future goes beyond politically negotiated agreements and beyond legislative acts of governments.

As a community of Christian peace and reconciliation missionaries, our hope is ultimately based on a biblical view of the final justice and peace on earth when Christ, the Prince of Peace, will govern the world with genuine justice for all. In our worldview, the reality of this radical just-peace began with the first coming of Jesus Christ and will be completed in His Second Coming. In this sense, the context of our peacebuilding mission is in the intersection of the ‘already’ and of the ‘not yet.’

It is this biblical hope that motivates us to call on our fellow Christians to repent, seek forgiveness, and correct our unjust actions, as well as to forgive, and to reconcile with, the people who treated us unjustly—in the past.

It is also this spiritual hope that energizes us to strive for just-peace in the present—including our support and advocacy for the on-going peace process between the GPH and the MILF.

It is because of this hope that we say, “Peace is possible!” with much conviction and passion.

From this theological perspective—

  • We affirm our support for the 2012 Framework Agreement on the Bangsamoro and its four Annexes;
  • We continue to celebrate the signed 2014 Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro, praying that it will be an effective instrument to attain just-peace in Mindanao and in the whole Philippines;
  • We express our appreciation for both the GPH and MILF Peace Panels who demonstrated their dedication and commitment to peace as the “only option” in this negotiation;
  • We applaud the Bangsamoro Transition Commission (BTC) for finally submitting a “mutually agreed draft” of the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) to the Office of the President;
  • We call on His Excellency President Benigno Simeon Aquino III to certify the BBL before the Legislative Branch as an urgent bill;
  • We call on the Legislative Branch of our government to process this Bangsamoro Basic Law with careful, responsible examination and deliberation using the lenses of justice, righteousness, and peace for all;
  • We call on the People of the Philippines to look at this peace process through the reconciling eyes of their spiritual hearts and minds.

As we dream and work towards national peace and reconciliation, we resonate with the statement of the late Nelson Mandela: “In the end, reconciliation is a spiritual process, which requires more than just a legal framework. It has to happen in the hearts and minds of the people.”

And so, we pray for the completion of this peace process between the GPH and the MILF for the salaam-shalom of Mindanao and of the whole Philippines!

We deeply believe that peace is the will of God. May God’s will be done “on earth as it is in heaven.”

 

Permanent link to this article: http://waves.ca/2014/08/20/our-support-for-the-bangsamoro-is-based-on-a-spiritual-perspective/

Aug 04 2014

LISTENING TO, PRAYING FOR, BOTH GPH AND MILF PEACE PANELS

workshop

I was invited by the leaders of the Mindanao PeaceWeavers (MPW), to join them in presenting a statement of solidarity to both the GPH and MILF Peace Panels to accompany them in this peace process until we see a mutually agreed text of the Bangsamoro Basic Law, and eventually lead to genuine just-peace in Mindanao. 04 August 2014, 1300H-1400H, Davao City.

I heard both chairs of the GPH and MILF Peace Panels along with my colleagues who belong to various Mindanao peace advocacy organizations. I also heard, and learned from, my colleagues’ questions and comments. I’m still trying to discern the balance between transparency and confidentiality — which are both needed in the tail-end of a fragile peace process.

There are hard issues we’re still facing on how to operationalize the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro (a politically negotiated agreement, general in scope) into the Bangsamoro Basic Law (a legislative document, specific and detailed in scope).

So, the two panels are working as partners for 10 days to deal with these issues.

Please pray for them as they journey from the general principles of agreement, to the specific operational details emanating from the same agreement.

May the God of Peace embrace us all!

Permanent link to this article: http://waves.ca/2014/08/04/listening-to-praying-for-both-gph-and-milf-peace-panels/