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Saturday, May 30, 2015

OPAPP, BASCOMNET hold forum on Bangsamoro peace process

By Rene V. Carbayas

ISABELA CITY, Basilan – The Basilan Communicators Network Inc. (BASCOMNET) in partnership with the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP) has recently conducted a forum on the Bangsamoro and the Philippine peace process to enlighten the communicators and information officers from the different government agencies and non-government organizations in Basilan on the issue.

The forum dwelt on the rationale behind the peace process by understanding the history of the Moro conflict and struggle in Mindanao.

Ma. Krishna Sonza of OPAPP’s communications team walked the participants to the time in the past that most people on Mindanao suffered injustices and discriminations that led to the poor state of human and social development in the area today.

She hopes that the people would further seek to understand first the root causes of the struggle of the people in Mindanao and the overarching intention of the government to provide the island genuine autonomy and peace.

However, Sonza stressed that the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL), which is still being deliberated in Congress and when passed and approved, it will not fully guarantee peace but “it will already be a great step towards attaining genuine peace.”

At the same forum, the participants were illuminated on some pressing issues and concerns of the Bangsamoro Transition Commission’s BBL draft, to include the issue of the Bangsamoro police, core territories, creation of a separate auditing body and civil service, among others.

She also told the BASCOMNET members that the fate of the BBL is now in the hands of congress.

“Since the BBL is now in the hands of congress, what the people need to understand first and foremost is the content of the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro (CAB) signed last March,” she stressed, saying that the CAB is the basis of the BBL and that the MILF and other peace advocates are hoping that the final version would still contain the spirit of the CAB.

Sonza also provided some updates on the ongoing deliberations at the ADHOC committee of congress and encouraged the participants to wait for the final version of both houses, as everything in the proposed BBL could still change and what is important for communicators is to understand the CAB by heart.

The recent forum was made possible through the support of the Inter-Faith Council of Leaders (IFCL) in Isabela City, Basilan.

After the forum, the newly elected board of directors for 2015-2017 were inducted into office by Atty. Vivaniño Barrios of the Public Attorney’s Office in Basilan. The officers and members of the board are Dr. Paysal Kasim (DOH-Rep) as President, Hja. Lucia A. Kandum (DepEd-Isabela) as Vice-President, Marlyn M. Anoos (DOLE-Isabela)-board secretary, and Melchora “Choi” Mangubat (ISAWAD), PSI Daryl Vincent D. Bartolome (PNP Province), 2LT Sally Christine Magno (104BdePA), Miriam L. Suacito (NFI), Nadzwa Abdulwahid (DAR), Socorro E. Torralba (DPWH), and Jesielyn Puno, Treasurer (CPop).

The BasCOMNET is a network of government and non-government agencies, who do collaboration work along information, education and communication activities. It was established to harmonize and maximize the communication activities of member-organizations, including the conduct of enhancement training to its members.