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Media Statement

29 January 2015
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We, members of the Friends of the Bangsamoro (FoBM), are deeply saddened by the
unfortunate clash over the weekend between the Special Action Force (SAF) of the Philippine
National Police (PNP) and members of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) Bangsamoro
Islamic Armed Forces (BIAF). We extend our sincerest and deepest sympathy to the families of
those who lost their lives and have been injured.
While we share the grief and have numerous questions about what transpired during that tragic
Sunday, we postpone any conclusions and call for sobriety from all parties, specially the media
and the general public, as we await the findings of an independent inquiry commission. As civil
society, we will call for a multi-stakeholder dialogue on this hopefully momentary crisis. We
likewise call for representation and participation of civil society in any official, joint or
independent investigation process.
We commend the immediate action taken by the International Monitoring Team (IMT), the Ad
Hoc Joint Action Group (AHJAG) and the Coordinating Committee for the Cessation of
Hostilities (CCCH) to de-escalate the situation on the ground.
A just resolution of the incident must however be immediately served. And this also means that
both parties, the Government and MILF, upon the conclusion of their respective, joint or
independent investigations of the incident will hold those responsible accountable for the
carnage and be meted the necessary sanctions.
Yet, now is the time for probity and statesmanship, womanship; and not for grandstanding and
opportunism. We call on all committed women and mencitizens all, in pursuit of the truth and
the just resolution of the incident, to weigh in and calm the tempers and emotions unleashed by
this tragedy.
Already, our people in the conflict areas are restless and a number have been displaced.
Already enemies of the peace process are bleating and are having a heyday in fanning the
flames of prejudice, hatred and dissonance. Already there are calls for the outright junking of the
BBL, an all-out war in Mindanao and for the cessation of all peace efforts.
Let not our negative perceptions, prejudices and biases further contribute to the
already volatile situation.

We call on our citizens and specially those who wield their blogs, pen and voice in mainstream
and social media to deeply discern the situation and carefully offer and utter their remarks and
opinions in a responsible manner.
We salute the CBCP, the Mindanao Business Council, Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte and
Chief Justice Lourdes Sereno for their calm and re-assuring statements. We need more of these
from our leadersbe they in the Administration or in the Opposition. Be they captains of
industries or media barons.
We regret that this has to happen at a time when the peace process is at a critical juncture,
when the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) is being deliberated in both the House of
Representatives and the Senate. A number of our legislators already raised concerns over the
passage of the BBL and a few have withdrawn support in light of what happened.
While there is no justification to any form of violence such as what happened in Mamasapano,
we likewise regret that some legislators suddenly view the passage of the BBL as 'untimely' -as if this proposed law triggered what took place in Maguindanao.
The BBL is not the problem. It may not be the entire solution, but this peace instrument
diligently crafted for almost decades by both government and the MILF-- could help end the
cause and costs of armed conflict in Mindanao. Killing the BBL is tantamount to killing the hopes
and aspirations of the entire nation for peace. Killing the BBL would be killing the peace process
and would mean terminating an opportunity for the entire nation to genuinely heal the wounds of
war and rectify the historical injustices committed against the peoples of Mindanao. Killing the
BBL is to repeat the Mamasapano incident a thousand fold with the whole nation as the
unfortunate victim.
Thousands of lives have already been wasted to violence; we cannot afford to lose more.
More than ever, let us stay the course for peace! We, the Friends of the Bangsamoro remain
steadfast in seeking out the truth and ensure that justice will be served. We will continue to
wage all-out peace in our beloved land.
Come, join us!
Padayon ta alang sa kalinaw!

Friends of the Bangsamoro (FoBM) Members:

Generation Peace Network (Gen Peace): nikki.delfin@gmail.com
Initiatives for International Dialogue (IID): gus@iidnet.org
Mindanao Solidarity Network (MSN): lizapeaceforever@gmail.com
Mindanao Peaceweavers (MPW): lyndeeprieto@yahoo.com
Partido ng Manggagawa
Partido Lakas ng Masa
Philippine Misereor Partnership Inc. (PMPI): yre_pmpi@yahoo.com.ph
Waging Peace Philippines (WPP): paxchv@gmail.com
Women Engaged in Action on UNSCR 1325 (WE Act 1325): jasminnariogalace@gmail.com
Womens Peace Table: socreyes@gmail.com
Young Moro Professionals Network (YMPN): bdsangid@yahoo.com