MANILA–Migrante Sectoral partylist group today expressed apprehension over the “dangerous implications” on the peace accord between the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) and the government for a Bangsamoro state.
The formal signing of the Bangsamoro framework was facilitated by Pres. Benigno Aquino III with Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak yesterday at the Malacanang Palace.
“We recognize that this development is borne out of the decades-long struggle of the Moro people, led by the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), to attain their right to self-determination. We laud the MILF and the Moro people for their perseverance in striving for just and lasting peace in the region,” Migrante Partylist president Connie Bragas-Regalado said in a statement to Manila Channel.
“However, we now put forth our apprehensions over possibly ‘dangerous’ provisions in the accord that may well affect not only the Moro people but the general public,” she added.
The OFW leader aired concerns over the requisite of a charter change for the accord to take effect.
“We understand that the Bangsamoro framework agreement has to be in accordance with the Philippine Constitution and its legal processes. This entails charter change that may be exploited by the present administration for the further plunder of our natural and human resources by foreign investors and companies, especially in the Mindanao region.”
“Our position on charter change is the same now as it was in the proposed MOA-AD (Memorandum of Agreement on Ancestral Domain) during the time of former president Gloria Arroyo. Charter change at this time is too treacherous especially now that the Aquino administration seems hell-bent on disregarding national sovereignty and patrimony in the form of the re-entry of US and other foreign troops in the country and his flagship program of PPP (public-private partnership),” she said.
Also the group has questioned the timing of the agreement, considering that May 2013 elections campaign period is nearing.
“We fear that this move, on the part of the GPH, may just be another tactic to consolidate administration allies and leaders in the to-be-formed Bangsamoro region. While we sincerely trust the intentions and vision of the Moro people, we cannot say that we have the same confidence in the Aquino administration.”
“Bangsamoro framework agreement is still too broad and general in scope and provisions that would make the Bangsamoro “overly-dependent on legal, constitutional and even financial undertakings by the GPH” necessitates vigilance on the part of the Filipino people,” Bragas-Regalado stressed.
Meanwhile the OFW group affirmed that “just and lasting peace in the Mindanao region and in the country can only be achieved if the GPH genuinely addresses the root causes of poverty, landlessness and unemployment and lack of social services in the country.”
“These very root causes are the main reasons why our countrymen are being forced to migrate abroad, or in this context, take up arms to express discontent against the prevailing status quo,” Bragas-Regalado said.
John Leonard Monterona, the group’s regional coordinator in Middle East also feared that the newly-signed GPH-MILF peace pact prospect “may suffer hurried child syndrome.”
Accordingly hurried child syndrome is a condition in which parents overschedule their children’s lives, push them hard for academic success, and expect them to behave and react as miniature adults.
The group is set to conduct series of consultations and fora with its chapters and Moro members in the country and abroad to get their thoughts and insights on the Bangsamoro framework agreement.
The Mindanao region has a large portion of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) and OFW families.