Expect heavy flow of traffic this Monday morning as around 8,000 to 10,000 peace advocates and activists will march from Saint Peter’s Parish on Commonwealth Avenue to the House of Representatives in Quezon City from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. to demand passage of what they call “a Bangsamoro Basic Law [BBL] based on the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro (CAB).”
CAB is the final peace agreement signed between the Philippine government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front on March 27, 2014.
Members of the House Ad Hoc Committee on the BBL will report results of its deliberations on the proposed law also today.
The big mobilization today is being organized by various peace networks including the All Out Peace campaign, Friends of the Bangsamoro, Mindanao Solidarity Network, Citizens’ Peace Council and Friends of Peace.
Other events under the campaign Çitizens’ Action for the Bangsamoro Basic Law will also take place on the same day in other key cities in the country including Davao City, Cagayan de Oro City and Cotabato City and the provinces of Bukidnon (Kidapawan) and Iloilo.
“May 11 will be beyond just joining a big rally. It will be a massive citizens action for the Bangsamoro. For those of us who have witnessed the cruelty of war in Mindanao, for the [evacuees], the innocent victims of this long-drawn war in Mindanao, May 11 is an opportunity for all of us to show our sturdy unity to achieve genuine peace. History is now offering us a golden opportunity to rectify the injustices committed not just against the Bangsamoro but for all the oppressed peoples of our nation. Are we going to shun this once in a lifetime opportunity or grab and savor it like there’s no tomorrow? We choose the latter and we hope our lawmakers will showcase the same wisdom on May 11,” the group said in their statement sent to The Manila Times.
The groups will stage a mock election with a giant ballot box to symbolize further support for a CAB-based BBL.
A “flash mob” of woman peace activists will also be part of today’s program.
While there is a reported consensus by Congress that the proposed BBL will eventually be passed, the groups said a watered-down version of the law may not really represent the interest of the peoples of Mindanao for peace, justice and progress in the region that rooted in the recognition of their right to self-determination.
Despite a snag that the BBL suffered at the Senate, President Benigno Aquino 3rd said he remains confident that Congress will be able to deliver proposal as scheduled, probably before his last State of the Nation Address in July.