We are concerned citizens of peace, sons and daughters of the Bangsamoro, who are grieving over the past weeks’ horrific incidents in Southern Mindanao, and appeal against an all-out war in Mindanao.

We are gravely concerned with the negative repercussions brought by the TRO on the MOA on Ancestral Domain. We question the lop-sided one-track , anti-peace talks stance of many of our Senators – to name Mar Roxas, Chiz Esudero, Juan Ponce Enrile and others. They are statesmen who we feel are not helping the peace process and instead promote divisiveness in times of confusion, emotional trauma and uncertainty among our people. We ask these presidentiables with national ambitions, what is their agenda for the Bangsamoro, if any? Have they gone to the Muslim South and asked the Muslim constituency before opposing the MOA or were their positions a product of their biases and prejudices?

We also question the inequality of voices in media, majority of which represent rightist sentiments, without appreciation of historic Moro grievances in the country. We are disappointed that 12 years of peace negotiations between the MILF and GRP can be swept away by unconcerned so-called national politicians who have never proposed any concrete form of governance structures that can respond to the Moro aspiration for right to self-determination. We are aware that tensions aggravated by senseless, unfounded statements of these senators , congressmen and politicians opposing the MOA put the gains of the peace process farther and impact on many of development programs ongoing in the South because of renewed hostilities.

We would like to appeal for more informed judgements , constructive dialogue, an affirmative reaching out by Manila’s media and politicians to the grassroot populace in the South to understand the search for genuine peace.

In deliberating the MOA, we call on the Supreme Court to exercise judgment with dispassion but sensitive to the lives and constituencies affected even lost because of frustrations over the TRO on the MOA-AD.

We are deeply concerned with the evacuations in North Cotabato, echoing the cycle of violence manifest in any renewal of hostilities. We affirm our trust in the local and international monitoring teams, the AHJAG and the CCCH to help keep the peace on the ground.

We condemn the attack on villages by armed men affecting children, women and damaging relationships built from decades of interfaith dialogue. These lawless acts are in violation of international humanitarian laws and conventions protecting children and women from the wrath of war. Muslims and Christians are victims alike. Muslims must stand up and rise to condemn violence and aggression on the innocent, We call on our ulama, MNLF, MILF and traditional leaders to help bridge the mistrust by reaching out to our Christian brethren , who were victimized in Norte’s attacks. Be the messengers of messages of non-violence and peace – SALAAM as Khalifas who enjoin what is good and forbid what is wrong.

Let the perpetrators be accountable to local peacekeeping mechanisms . Both the AFP and MILF must be held to answer for any atrocities and violations of the rules of war.

In these times of hardship, we hold hands as one , with our Christian and Lumad neighbours, in the name of peace, acceptance and justice. We are committed to a democratic and peaceful resolution of the conflict. Do not be afraid of the MOA- AD. To the national public, open your hearts to the Moro grievance.

Young Moro Professionals Network