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Bangsamoro peace process takes center stage on National Peace Consciousness Month

BANGSAMORO NEWS UPDATES • 05:47 AM Sun Aug 30, 2015
Prof. Miriam Coronel Ferrer, PH chief negotiator with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front. (OPAPP)

MANILA -- The Bangsamoro peace process will serve as the lynchpin of the country’s 12th National Peace Consciousness Month, with the two-pronged objective of encouraging Congress to finish the work on the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) while at the same time continuing to raise awareness and understanding on the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro.Government chief peace negotiator Prof. Miriam Coronel-Ferrer said this year’s observance comes at a most opportune time as the leadership of both Houses of Congress are eyeing a September passage of the BBL.”On separate occasions, both Senate President Franklin Drilon and House Speaker Feliciano Belmonte, Jr. made public pronouncements that there was still time to pass their respective BLBARs (Basic Law for the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region), the amended version of the BBL, in September. September has always been an important month for us in the peace process. This year will be extra special and memorable if our esteemed lawmakers in the House of Representatives and the Senate will finally finish their work on the Bangsamoro law,” commented Ferrer.The chief negotiator also shared that the OPAPP was planning several activities for the month-long commemoration.OPAPP has been leading the annual celebration of the National Peace Consciousness Month by virtue of Proclamation No. 675 series of 2004. The highlight of last year’s celebration came when the Office of the President transmitted the original BBL which was drafted by the Bangsamoro Transition Commission.Focusing on the Bangsamoro, Ferrer added that the agency would be launching a series of exhibits around Metro Manila and parts of Mindanao with the assistance of several government agencies, major shopping malls, and universities. Beyond just calling for the passage of the bill, the purpose of these exhibits is to bring closer to the Filipino people the stories and dreams of our fellow Filipino brothers and sisters in the prospective Bangsamoro.”Ferrer commented that the exhibits will hopefully enable and empower the general public to engage in continuing dialogue on the Bangsamoro and the legislative process involving the BBL.” She said there are plans to put up information and education materials in public spaces to increase awareness on the peace process.Accordingly, the said exhibit will first grace Miriam College and the TriNoMa Mall on Sept 1 and will stay there until the 5th and the 6th respectively.Starting Sept. 14, the same exhibit can be viewed at the College of Arts and Science, University of the Philippines Manila (UP Manila) and the Philippine Normal University (PNU). U.P. Manila agreed to host the exhibit for four days while the PNU have offered a duration of two weeks.The House of Representatives will also serve as another venue for the Bangsamoro exhibit starting from Sept. 14 to 17.?The exhibits will focus on providing information and clarifying misconceptions on the draft law.This September, the general public can also expect to spot public utility vehicles in Metro Manila and Mindanao carrying messages on the BBL. Various tricycle drivers and associations have agreed to carry the said advertisements, pointing out the need to bring closer to the public the Bangsamoro message of peace and social justice. I can’t stress enough the importance of keeping the Bangsamoro peace process in the consciousness of the public because the best opportunity to end the decades of alienation and hostility is now with us, explained Ferrer.Ferrer also invited everyone to keep an eye on the official OPAPP website as various activities and contests were also being planned. We are bringing the peace month to the social media. The OPAPP will be launching several online-only events aligned with the objectives of the Bangsamoro peace process,” she said.

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