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On the Road to Peace

On September 10, 2014, another milestone for the Bangsamoro Peace Process has transpired.
President Benigno Aquino III handed over the draft of the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) to
Congress. The purpose of the draft BBL is “to establish the new Bangsamoro political entity and
provide for its basic structure of government, in recognition of the aspirations of the Bangsamoro
people.”
As support for the submission of the BBL to Congress, a mobilization was organized by different
groups including MSN, PMPI, AMIN, CODE-NGO/C4CC, etc. at Mendiola Street in Manila.
Participants also signed a placard to express their call to push for the BBL.
With the signing of the Normalization Annex last January 25, 2014 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, which
completes the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro (CAB), the Government of the
Philippines (GPH) and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) are a step nearer to achieving
lasting peace in Mindanao. The Caucus of Development NGO Networks (CODE-NGO), through its
member network, Mindanao Coalition of Development NGO Networks (MINCODE), is one with the
nation in celebrating this big leap on the Peace Process.
In the last 2 years, the CODE-NGO General Assembly has been passing resolutions for civil society
organizations (CSOs) to support peace talks on the Framework Agreement on the Bangsamoro
(FAB). CSOs have been active in giving capacity development and peace education to communities
grounded by the belief that "peace is the basic right of any individual" and preparing local roadmaps
to peace building is necessary. With the signed FAB and its Annexes at hand, there is a call for
CODE-NGO member networks to support the conduct of public consultations on the Bangsamoro
Basic Law (BBL) and advocate to Congress for its enactment and conduct of plebiscite leading to
the first Bangsamoro elections in 2016. As the Chairperson of CODE-NGO, Patricia Sarenas, stated,
"MINCODE will be planning for the next steps the coalition will take related to the next steps in the
Bangsamoro roadmap, particularly steps we can take that will contribute to the over-all CSO efforts
to more meaningfully engage in the peace process in Mindanao."