Tag: Bangsamoro Basic Law


While praying for peace, I joined the civil society organizations in Davao City who gathered together to publicly support the Bangsamoro Basic Law. Here, I was responding to a couple of interview questions by a local television reporter. 11 July 2018.

Between the 9th and the 13th of July 2018, the Bicameral Conference Committee of the Philippine Congress will finally decide on the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL). The state of the Peace Process between the Government of the Philippines (GPH) and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) will be determined by the final version of the BBL that will be approved by the BiCam Conference. The report on the BBL will be submitted for ratification by Congress in their respective plenary sessions on 23 July 2018.

During these days, I am in a mode of confession, thanksgiving, and prayers specifically for BBL.

I confess the historical fact that injustices were committed by the majority Christian population against the minority Muslim Bangsamoro. In the past 100 years, the American and Philippine government initiated resettlement policies wherein Christians from other parts of the country were sponsored by the government to resettle in Muslim Mindanao. Such policies made the Indigenous Peoples, both Islamized and non-Islamized, become minority in their own land and brought the war to Mindanao as explained in this 5-minute animated video. Also, the map below illustrates how Muslim Mindanao lost a greater part of their homeland:

I offer thanksgiving for the Creator’s mercy, as well as the mercy of the Indigenous Peoples of Mindanao, both Islamized and non-Islamized, that made possible to seek the settlement of these historical injustices through peaceful negotiation. The MILF-GPH Peace Process is an active non-violent approach to correct such historical injustices. I will continue to support this process despite the setbacks along the way.

I’m praying for justice while working with our peace network to advocate for the implementation of the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro (CAB). I’m convinced that the Bangsamoro Transition Commission’s draft of the Bangsamoro Basic Law, with the inserted provision to protect the right to self-determination of the non-Islamized Indigeneous Peoples, along with the passing of the law that would establish the Transitional Justice and Reconcilation Commission for the Bangsamoro, would significantly advance the justice being sought by the Bangsamoro and the Indigenous Peoples of Mindanao.

Finally, I’m praying that the Christians, in the Church and in the three branches of the government — executive, legislative, and judiciary, would act in love as they practice stewardship of the influence and powers entrusted them. May the Church, who have significantly benefitted from the land-grabbing by the Spanish and American imperialist invasion of the ancestral domains of Indigenous Peoples, truly repent by returning the lands they appropriated through colonialism back to the Indigenous Peoples. This act of love by the Christian institutions would initiate the correction of historical injustices in this country. Along with the Church, I pray that the Philippine government, through the Bicameral Conference Committee would pass a BBL that is CAB-compliant, consistent with what the BTC drafted, and affirming the right to self-determination of the Indigenous Peoples.

I believe in the ultimate justice of the Great Creator. I believe in the resilience of the people to continue the journey towards genuine liberation from all forms of violence and oppression.

This story is not finished yet.

Permanent link to this article: https://waves.ca/2018/07/11/praying-for-our-legislators-as-they-deliberate-on-the-bangsamoro-basic-law/



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: https://waves.ca/2015/04/10/we-helped-facilitate-evangelical-discussion-on-christian-muslim-peace-process/


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: https://waves.ca/2014/09/10/so-happy-that-the-bbl-is-now-in-the-legislative-branch/



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: https://waves.ca/2014/08/20/our-support-for-the-bangsamoro-is-based-on-a-spiritual-perspective/