Written by Pro Politics for Peace.

Pro Politics for Peace will co-sponsor a dialogue with national candidates organized by Institute for Autonomy and Governance (IAG) on Sunday, November 29, the second day of Kusog Mindanaw 2015 Conference in Davao City with the theme “Equity and Accountability towards Inclusive Development, Security and Peace in Mindanao.”

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Kusog Mindanaw  is a Mindanao-wide forum that brings together political, business, religious and social leaders towards a consensus in policy and action on relevant issues for Mindanao peace and development. In Kusog Mindanaw, a Mindanao-wide platform for dialogues is in place as a bridge between Muslim Mindanao and the rest of the region in understanding issues of peace, development and security for the whole of Mindanao. 

IAG, Kusog Mindanaw’s secretariat, has confirmed the attendance of Vice President Jejomar “Jojo” Binay on the second day of the summit. VP Binay is expected to sit down in a dialogue to be moderated by long-time peace advocate and Kusog Mindanaw Chairman Fr. Eliseo “Jun” Mercado.

Joining the discussions are regional and local government officials and leaders from the civil society all over Mindanao. Organizers expect a lively exchange of ideas and opinions as Binay will likely be asked about his take on the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) – and the prospects for peace and development in Mindanao post-Aquino administration – and the upcoming 2016 national elections.

In March, Binay said the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL), a product of the signed peace deal between the government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) that will create a new autonomous government with more teeth than the current one, should not be the only option toward establishing a lasting peace in Mindanao.

Recently in a statement, Binay promised that his presidency would address the root causes–poverty, inequality and injustice–of armed conflict that sank areas in Mindanao in deep and decades-old conflict. And said that he would work with all organizations and sectoral groups in creating “a shared national agenda” that will address the core issues because “this is the road to lasting peace.”  

The summit comes amid the intensifying heat of the forthcoming national elections and the uncertainty facing the BBL in Congress. With 10 days left to pass the proposed measure before lawmakers go on a Christmas break, hope is dimming fast for the approval of the BBL under the 16thCongress.

President Benigno Aquino III already made an appeal to Congress not to “risk” the possibility of establishing peace in Mindanao by delaying the passage of the BBL until the next administration. 

In the afternoon, Philippine Center for Islam and Democracy (PCID) President Amina Rasul will also moderate a dialogue with senatoriables from Mindanao. 

Read more: VP Binay set to face Mindanao leaders in Davao this weekend

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