Overseas Filipino Workers in Kuwait and members of the Bangsamoro in Kuwait held its 4th general assembly in Kuwait Friday afternoon at the main hall of the International Islamic Charitable Organization. Moro International Liberation Front (MILF) head, Murad Ibrahim and a panel of delegates from Philippines graced the said occasion.
Five speakers; Ustad Al Camlian, Ustad Said Salendar, Alim Ali Solaiman, Haji Mahmour Estiro delivered insights and updates on the current situation of the proposed passing of the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) in the senate. In an exclusive interview with The Times, Ibrahim said that the invitation to attend the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) hosted by Kuwait recently was a clear indication of the organization’s strong support to ensure that the real autonomy is achieved in Mindanao and attain its aims to establish Bangsamoro, thereby achieve peace and cooperation. Ibrahim also gave his reaction on the revisions made by the Ad Hoc Committee deleting essential provisions as approved and agreed earlier.
“I appeal to the law makers to restore the provisions in line with comprehensive agreement with Bangsamoro, this is an agreement between MILF and government, deletion of these provisions are clear violations on the comprehensive agreement,” commented Ibrahim. In his opening speech in the assembly, Ibrahim traced the roots of what he calls a “Jihad” as a result of violence, massacres and other forms of oppressions in the past committed against the Moros in the Philippines.
“There is no other solution but fight back in arms to be able to regain our liberty and dignity as Moros,” added Ibrahim. One of the most important issues discussed in the assembly was the development plan of Bangsamoro that included education, government, and asymmetric relationship with government, electoral codes and issues with the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM).
The Times was also give an exclusive interview with the Philippine Secretary of the National Commission on Muslim Filipinos Yasmin Lao during a reception held by Filipino Muslims in Kuwait. Lao said that the effect of the invitation to attend the OIC will have a positive impact on the BBL. “The presence of OIC during the peace talks as state observers and during the signing of the comprehensive agreement is a confirmation of their commitment to attain peace in Mindanao. This is not a different process but a continuation of the forty years campaign by Moro National Liberation Front to form unity between factions,” commented Lao.
Undersecretary of the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP) Yusuf Lorena explained the reasons behind the formation of BCF, which main aim is to push for the unity of Moros in the Bangsamoro region and that OIC earlier has called upon factions between MILF and MNLF to support the BCF in order to gain autonomy in the troubled region.
Lao urged Filipinos not to lose hope on the fight for peace, amidst challenges to be able to pass this law. She added that patience and perseverance are keys to attain peace and not be influenced by those who attempt to mislead. “Let us continue to push for peace and end war for the sake of our children and for Filipinos in the country,” concluded Lao.