The Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) has organized the United Bangsamoro Justice Party (UBJP). Its First Volunteers’ General Assembly was held last 23-25 December 2014 in Camp Darapanan, Barangay Simuay, Sultan Kudarat, Maguindanao.
From being a revolutionary front, the MILF is transitioning to become a political party. In his opening remarks, Hon. Sammy Al-Mansour, UBJP Secretary General, said: “Our struggle is moving from the shooting of bullets to casting of ballots.” Al-Mansour is also the Chief of Staff of the Bangsamoro Islamic Armed Forces (BIAF), the military wing of the MILF.
On the second day of the assembly, PeaceBuilders Community, Inc. (PBCI), along with other leaders of civil society organizations, were given a chance to meet privately with the Hon. Mohagher Iqbal, UBJP Vice President for Southern Mindanao and concurrently Chairman of the MILF Peace Negotiating Panel. He shared with us the vision and mission of the UBJP.
The United Bangsamoro Justice Party envisions to establish a genuinely principled political party renowned for its integrity, commitment and competence in governance and in providing services to the people regardless of their age, gender, tribe, culture, educational background, social and economic status, religious and political orientation and affiliation.
To attain this vision, the United Bangsamoro Justice Party commits to advance the ideals of transparent, accountable, inclusive, efficient, effective and sustainable governance that promotes justice, cooperation, people empowerment, social responsibility and prosperity.
On the 25th of December, the final day of the assembly, UBJP President Alhaj Murad Ebrahim delivered his keynote speech, followed by a mass oath-taking of UBJP volunteers, according to a text message from Aliuddin Haron (UBJP Media Affairs Section) to the Information and Communications Team of PBCI.
PeaceBuilders Community, Inc. attended this assembly as an observer. PBCI supports the birth of UBJP as a continuation of our on-going support to the peace process between the Government of the Philippines (GPH) and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF).
From the point of view of our peace theological conviction and active non-violent ethical views and advocacy, we see this political development in the MILF as a positive indicator towards a more mature stage of the conflict transformation process between the GPH and the MILF.
May the Creator of all humanity–the God of Peace–continue to heal our land and grant shalom-salaam to our people.