Education series on political party development for Bangsamoro launched

January 29, 2016 7:21 am 

MANILA, Jan. 28, — With the support of the European Union (EU), The Konrad Adenauer Foundation (KAS) and the Cotabato-based Institute for Autonomy and Governance (IAG) on Thursday launched a project aimed to prepare the future autonomous Bangsamoro entity for a meaningful autonomy.

The initiative, called the Democratic Party Development, or DEPAdev, aimed at contributing to the establishment of a pluralistic political landscape in southern Philippines.

Specifically, it focused on raising capacities of Muslim, Christian, Indigenous and other underrepresented groups for active political participation under a parliamentary system.

IAG Executive Director Benedicto Bacani said that it was essential to create a political environment conducive to the development of the political party.

“We want to empower stakeholders and underrepresented groups to transform their interest groups and operate them as functional programmatic political parties or movements based on the rule of law. These objectives build a foundation on which active civil society participation in political affairs within the autonomous region will be possible,” said Bacani.

“This 18-month project is a non-partisan approach in which seminars and training activities will be implemented for existing political parties, members of civil society groups and members of both, religious and non-religious groups throughout Mindanao,” said Mr. Benedikt Seemann, KAS Philippines Office Resident Representative.

For his part, Bangsamoro Transition Commission (BTC) member Abdullah Camlian stressed that the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) be passed in order for the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) to truly participate in the political scene.

“Without the BBL, I think the MILF can hardly participate,” said Camlian.

Through the BBL, the MILF would be given equitable representation in the Bangsamoro Transition Authority (BTA), as well as encourage them to field candidates for the elections in the Bangsamoro region.

“By that time, it will become a free-for-all– free for everybody to participate in the political exercise,” said Camlian.

The education series kicked off right after the public project launch at Dusit Thani Hotel Manila.

This conference hosted guests from the Diplomatic Corps, Government, Congress, Bangsamoro Transition Commission and stakeholders from Muslim Mindanao.

Prominent speakers were EU Ambassador Franz Jessen, Secretary Teresita Deles, Professor Miriam Coronel-Ferrer, Chairman Mohagher Iqbal and Congressman Rufus Rodriguez among others.

Through the continuous support of the European Union to the Bangsamoro Peace Process, Konrad Adenauer Foundation Philippines Office (KAS) was awarded a grant to promote the political development in Muslim Mindanao.

Since 2007, the EU has invested more than Php 650 million in programs that contribute to the peace process in southern Philippines. (PNA)

RMA/FMC

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