Peace forum tackles Framework Agreement PDF Print E-mail
Sunday, 09 December 2012 14:46

Though the province of Basilan will most likely adopt the new concept in trying to attain lasting peace by replacing ARMM autonomy with another political entity called Bangsamoro, the Office of the Presidential Adviser for Peace Process (OPAPP) represented by Professor Miriam Coronel-Ferrer still went on its way to further explain before thousands of stakeholders about the “Framework Agreement of Bangsamoro” that serves as a guide for the drafting of the basic law that the government is envisioning to pass before 2016.

In a forum held Thursday at the Basilan State College gymnasium, Ferrer lectured stakeholders on the salient features of the framework agreement particularly the annexes that they are going to tackle in Kuala Lumpur early next year.

The forum, dubbed as “Peace Conference 2012” and sponsored by the Basilan Provincial Government and ARMM Governor Mujiv Hataman, was held following its mandate for the conduct of massive information drive to ensure support for the peace initiatives embodied in the framework agreement of the Bangsamoro and its processes.

In her more than 30-minute message, Prof. Ferrer spelled out the three important points of the annexes like the possible agreement between the GPH and MILF on the power sharing concept, sharing of available wealth in ARMM and normalization of all activities that greatly affect the socio-economic, security and the justice system of the region.

To prove that indeed the explanation of the professor was convincing, no less than Basilan Bishop Martin Jumoad strongly expressed support to the framework agreement hoping that the same would surely solve the problem of peace and order like the series of kidnappings, ambuscades, beheading, massacre and other atrocities mostly victimizing innocent Basilenos.

Bishop Jumoad recalled what he described as painful stories of the past where even catholic priests and church workers were kidnapped and beheaded.

“As the highest Catholic Church leader in Basilan, I welcome the framework agreement. But I would like to pose this question: Will this solve the kidnapping problem in the province and other criminalities?” Jumoad said as he challenged leaders to put forward the general welfare of the people than any other else.

He called on the leaders of the present ARMM set-up and future officials of the Bangsamoro State to always consider the Christian community to be always part of any progress and development. 

Jumoad likewise expressed high hope that with the leadership of the present ARMM government of Gov. Hataman and with the cooperation of the people, Basilan and other parts of the autonomous region will achieve lasting peace that everyone has been dreaming of.

In his quick response, Gov. Hataman assured that the new concept of autonomy could surely help in addressing the concerns raised by Bishop Jumoad but not as instant as expected.

He said the new concept will have to go through a long process in order to achieve its goal since it was created purposely to put a stop to  the armed conflict in Mindanao. — Jimmy Villaflores