By Zainab A. Tagbo
COTABATO City (January 18, 2014) – Dr George Baylon, a researcher and professor in the National University of Singapore, conducted a Focus Group Discussion (FGD) with women on Framework Agreement on the Bangsamoro (FAB) at the United Youth for Peace and Development national office last January 10, 2014. The discussion focused much on women’s perspectives on the FAB, their hopes and fears on it.
Baisanie J. Macabuat, Chairperson of the Women Affairs Committee (WAC) of the UNYPAD, said that the WAC just helped facilitate the FGD.
“The participants were coming from Moro Women Development and Cultural Center (MWDECC), Mindanao Action for Peace and Development Initiatives (MAPAD), Moro Women Advocacy for Governance (MWAG) and Women Affairs Committee (WAC) of the UNYPAD,” she disclosed.
“The hopes and fears of women on FAB were highlighted,” Baisanie said.
“…but the participants said that there is a higher hope if involved parties in the talks are sincere and work together in the implementation of all signed agreements,” she added.
She also said that the issues of autonomy, Bangsamoro identity, difference between Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) and the would-be Bangsamoro Government, and the satisfaction of the Bangsamoro people on the flow of negotiations were also tackled.
“The participants avowedly said that if Bangsamoro Government will be established, it will somehow answer the sentiments and aspirations of the Bangsamoro in Mindanao, but if not, then the struggle for peace and right to self-determination will be carried on as it will be passed on to the next generation,” said Baina T. Samayatin of the MWDECC.
“This also made us realize the need to strengthen campaign and advocacy on FAB to different sectors specially the IP’s and Christian communities,” she added.