COTABATO CITY—Around a hundred thousand supporters from Cotabato City, North Cotabato, and Maguindanao showed their support for the call to certify as urgent the bills, seeking to extend the Bangsamoro Transition from 2022 to 2025, through a Peace Caravan on Thursday, March 18.
The 13-hour long caravan, which was initiated by Civil Society Organizations (CSOs), started at Brgy. Bubong in Cotabato City, traversing the national highways of Datu Odin Sinsuat, Guindulungan, Shariff Aguak, Esperanza, Isulan, Tacurong City, Buluan, Datu Paglas, M’lang, Matalam, Pagalungan, Kabacan, Datu Montawal, Pikit, Aleosan, Midsayap, Pigcawayan, and back to Cotabato City.
In a press conference held Wednesday, March 17, Civil Society Organizations-Movement for Moral Governance (CSO-MMG) Spokesperson Ammier Dodo said “the peace caravan aimed to express the sincerity of the various sectors’s support—including the Bangsamoro grassroot communities, CSOs, religious groups, academe, and youth—to certify BTA extension bills as urgent as possible.”
Further, the CSOs drafted a statement of appeal, urging President Rodrigo Roa Duterte to prioritize the certification of the bills to extend the transition period in the region.
Different supporters—men, women, elders, students, farmers—lined up along the highway, while chanting “Allahu Akbar” (Allah is Great) and “yes to extension of Bangsamoro Transition“.
Bungalos Abpet, 49, married, a resident of Barangay Tenok, Mangudadatu in Maguindanao and Focal person of Bangsamoro Communication Network (BCN), expressed his full support to the extension of transition period.
“Ang malaking hinahangad ng karamihan sa mga Bangsamoro ay magkaroon ng tatlong taong pagpapalawig sa BTA, dahil naniniwala tayo na magdudulot ito ng kapayapaan—para sa ating mga anak, sa ating kabataan; para sa kinabukasan ng Bangsamoro,” said Abpet.
[The great desire of the Bangsamoro is to extend the BTA for three years more, because we believe that it will bring peace—for our children; our youth; for the future of Bangsamoro.]
Furthermore, to ensure the safety of the Bangsamoro people, the Ministry of Health (MOH-BARMM) headed by Deputy Minister Dr. Zul Qarneyn Abas and staff, voluntarily joined the caravan and delivered their services. (Bangsamoro Information Office)
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