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419PRESS RELEASE

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  • Bangsanoro Center for Justpeace in the Ph
    Jan 3, 2008
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      FOR RELEASE ON THURSDAY (JANUARY 3, 2008)

      Civil Society Organizations to mobilize 50,000 people for a
      simultaneous Mass Rally for Peace in Cotabato

      Cotabato City – Some 50,000 participants from civil society,
      representing various organizations and sectors will hold a one day
      Mass Rally for Peace in Cotabato City on January 7, 2008 (Monday) from
      9:00 O'clock in the Morning to 3:00 O'clock in the afternoon, with a
      theme;" Uphold the gains of the Peace Processes"

      The said Mass Rally for Peace is spearheaded by the Consortium of
      Bangsamoro Civil Society Kutawato Regional Management Committee
      (CBCS-KRMC), to be participated by the different sectors of civil
      society in Cotabato City, Shariff Kabunsuan, North Cotabato and
      Maguindanao simultaneous with a press conference to be held at Hotel
      Castro Function Hall from 12:00 to 1:00 O'clock in the afternoon.

      This initiative came out as a unified response to draw the attention
      of the "gate keepers" of the peace processes.

      "The current status of the Peace Process in Mindanao is fast changing
      and reshaping the future of the Mindanaoans especially the civil
      society that comprise the greater majority in the grassroots,"
      Abdulbasit (Bobby) Benito stated, Chairman of the Media Committee said
      in their position paper. "The expected signing of the Memorandum of
      Agreement between the MILF and GRP in Kuala Lumpur on the issue of
      ancestral domain could have been a recompense for the ten-year long
      negotiation between the MILF and the GRP that commenced in July of
      1997. The stance of the GRP in nonconforming to the agreed consensus
      points, a clear manifestation of the feebleness of the GRP to bestow
      strong political will for the realization of the peace accord", He added.

      In addition, the contentious issue on the implementation of the 1996
      Final Peace Agreement (FPA) between the MNLF and the GRP is viewed to
      impinge the peace process between the MILF and GRP to pursue. Eleven
      years after the signing, gaps between the GRP and MNLF position on the
      genuine implementation of the FPA widens. These incidents inevitably
      make the peace situation fluid, volatile and according to some, can
      explode anytime. Benito elaborated.

      We, in the civil society is aware of the fact that majority of people
      in the grassroots desires for a meaningful result of the peace
      process, not only to put an end to the ravages of war, but to address
      the longstanding political problem in a non-violent way.

      The civil society's unified response can create a desired impact by
      significantly reducing the possible incidence of conflict exacerbation
      brought about by the fragile peace confronting our homeland.
      Prerequisite to our yearning for human security, peace and economic
      progress is the attainment of a negotiated political settlement.

      The action points generally aims to draw the attention of these "gate
      keepers" to immediately take necessary actions and muster enough
      courage to bring about the long awaited peaceful settlement.
      Specifically, these will convey the civil society's urgent appeal for:

      1. Swift and more carefully review the implementation of the GRP-MNLF
      1996 peace accord so that gaps are identified, corrective measures are
      installed, and implementation scheme put into place;
      2. For the immediate resumption of the GRP-MILF peace talks and for
      the Government to honor its commitment to the consensus points; and
      3. For the GRP and the MILF to refrain from any unnecessary actions
      that may jeopardize the peace talks.


      CONTACT PERSON: ABDULBASIT R. (BOBBY) BENITO
      Tel No. : 390 2726
      Mobile. : 09197245492
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