MANILA, Feb. 26, 2014—Administrators of Catholic schools, colleges and universities are convening next month to study the Framework Agreement on the Bangsamoro (FAB) and to map out programs to promote and enhance peace in their respective communities.
Members of the Catholic Educational Association of the Philippines will meet in Manila on March 19 and in Cebu in March 20 for a convocation that is meant to gain critical awareness and contextualized understanding of the implications of the FAB in the outstanding pursuit of peace in Mindanao.
In an invitation, Fr. Joel Tabora, SJ, chairman of CEAP-National Advocacy Commission, said the signing of the last of the four Annexes of the FAB has completed the long hoped-for comprehensive agreement.
“This milestone certainly warrants for elation. But it also signals a greater challenge to all in our nation to be involved in this quest for peace, which is our shared responsibility,” he said.
Tabora said school communities can help achieve peace by being “spaces of dialogue and reconciliation, to be actively involved in the healing processes in our communities, and to be the vanguards of the common good and faith that does justice.”
The priest likewise called on both the government panel and the representatives of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) to include other stakeholders in their dialogue.
“We call on negotiating parties to strengthen their dialogues by insuring profound inclusivity, hearing all the voices who have a stake in peace – indigenous peoples, the religious communities, the different ummahs, non-government organizations, academe, the poor, the dissidents – to ensure that the road we are taking is not motivated merely by political ambitions, but by genuine and sustainable peace for all peoples,” Tabora added.
To recall, the government and MILF panels formally signed the last annex to the FAB during talks in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia last month. The annexes will be used as guides for the formulation of the Bangsamoro Basic Law, which the Bangsamoro Transition Commission is now drafting. The Congress has to enact the Bangsamoro Basic Law before a plebiscite is held for the ratification of the law.
The Bangsamoro Transitional Authority is created to replace the Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao. The BTA will be replaced upon election and assumption of the members of the Bangsamoro legislative assembly and formation of the Bangsamoro government. (Kris Bayos/CBCPNews)