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Bangsamoro peace process continues despite non-passage of BBL

QUEZON CITY, Philippines – Government of the Philippines Chief Negotiator Mirriam Coronel-Ferrer said that the Bangsamoro peace process will continue even though the 16th Congress closed sessions Wednesday (3 Feb) without passing the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL).
“The collective inaction of our legislators to complete the deliberation on the BBL did not, and will not, stop the momentum of the Bangsamoro peace process,” Ferrer said in a statement on Wednesday. “At this low point, we call for sobriety and perseverance.”
Ferrer said the Comprehensive Agreement of the Bangsamoro (CAB) from which the proposed BBL was created, “remains a signed document that binds the Government of the Philippines and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) to their respective obligations in order to seal the peace…”
Ferrer said the CAB reflects the “diverse interests” of stakeholders concerned in the creation of a Bangsamoro region and promotes social justice through equal distribution of wealth in Muslim Mindanao.
She added that CAB also provides mechanisms for the transformation of conflict-affected areas to safe communities, decommissioning of MILF weapons, and remove biases that allowed the huge gap of the majority of Filipinos with minority populations.
“It took a long time to get to this set of practical steps,” Ferrer said. We need to take away the fear and distrust of the Bangsamoro for our country to become whole.”
She urged politicians and the public to study the history of conflict in and the peace process of Mindanao to understand the peace efforts the government has undertaken.
“As members of the GPH negotiating panel, we will do everything in the remaining time we have to ensure that the infrastructure for implementing the peace accord are fully functional so that the next administration will be in a good position to carry forward the full implementation of the agreement,” Ferrer said.

Criselda Cabangon David, a happy mother of two kids, is a full-time Sociologist at the City Government of Lucena, Quezon Province. She is currently the Managing Editor of Ang Diaryo Natin Sunday News, a weekly local community newspaper in the Philippines and an active member of the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines.