As an "independent body," the National Peace Summit initiated by President Benigno Aquino III to educate the public on the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) would receive funding from the private sector, according to its convenors.
"As an independent body and a private sector-led activity, resources from the private sector and development partners shall support our efforts," they said in a statement released before the Holy Week.
The statement was signed by convenors Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle, former Supreme Court Chief Justice Hilario Davide Jr., former Ambassador Howard Dee, businessman Jaime Augusto Zobel de Ayala and youth leader Bai Rohaniza Sumndad-Usman.
Invited by P-Noy
The five were invited by President Aquino to spearhead a peace summit intended to study the proposed BBL after it was denigrated by lawmakers and other critics as being unconstitutional following the botched police raid on terrorists in Mamasapano, Maguindanao, on Jan. 25.
The passage of the BBL is imperative to create the new Bangsamoro autonomous region that would be the fruition of the peace agreement between the government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front.
The five convenors also said they would announce after the Holy Week the names of people they have invited to participate in the summit who were described as "responsible and respected leaders, pro-peace and pro-dialogue."
Experts and resource persons would also be invited to the National Peace Summit "as deemed necessary."
The five original convenors pledged they "would look into the provisions [of the BBL] with collective views and recommendations, educate ourselves and our constituencies in the process."
"We would like to emphasise that we are not a pressure group or a political movement; but rather, we are a group that would like to provide an avenue for dialogue between independent-minded citizens who believe in the importance of understanding the BBL and to discuss its implications for peace and development in our country at a fair and reasonable manner," they said.