Today at Finster Auditorium, the Ateneo de Davao University, through the Arrupe Office of Social Formation’s Communications and Advocacy Program, will once again feature the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) on center stage when it conducts a forum on important updates, issues and concerns pertaining to the BBL.  The Arrupe Office has invited no less than the government’s chief negotiator with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), Prof. Miriam Coronel Ferrer, as its resource speaker who will provide the university community an update on where the BBL is at now since it has been submitted by the Bangsamoro Transition Commission (BTC) to the Office of the President, and eventually to the Philippine Congress for further public scrutiny.  Owing to unmitigating circumstances related to the schedule of Prof. Ferrer, she is sending a member of the legal team of the Government Peace Negotiating Panel (GPNP), Atty. Mohammad Al-Amin Julkipli, in her stead.  The forum is set at the Finster Auditorium during the activity period at 3:40 p.m.

While it sits in the hands of congress for further study—anticipating more public debates and discussions traversing all sides of the congressional divide—the BBL has already been receiving a lot of attention within the university and even beyond it, such as, for example, the Davao Association of Colleges and Schools (DACS) even the Catholic Educational Association of the Philippines (CEAP).  Through the primary efforts of the office of the university president, Fr. Joel E. Tabora, SJ, more avenues for discussions pertaining to the BBL have already been provided by Ateneo de Davao University (ADDU) in the course of months since the creation of the Framework Agreement on the Bangsamoro (FAB) in 2012, and eventually the historic signing of the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro (CAB) in the later part of March 2014.

In its observance of this year’s Mindanao Week of Peace (MWOP), the university is again leaving no stones unturned by offering another round of discourses where the university community will be informed on recent discussions on the BBL by bringing over a resource person from the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP).  In late July of this year, the Arrupe Office has invited the youngest commissioner of the BTC in the person of a young brilliant lawyer, Atty. Johaira Wahab, for a modified round-table discussion (RTD).  In that venue, she discussed the difficult process in the crafting of the BBL draft, as well as the continuing debates which accompanied the draft’s final form prior to its submission to Pres. Benigno Aquino III.

This afternoon’s forum promises to be a stimulating one, as it draws participation from students from the college, as well as faculty from all units. This forum is part of the coordinated efforts of the university to observe this year’s Mindanao Week of Peace which bears the theme “We Pray for Long Lasting Peace in Mindanao: Give, Share, Live and Proclaim Peace.” (by M. Isabel S. Actub, Arrupe Communications and Advocacy)