By Baisanie J. Macabuat
COTABATO City (May 8, 2014) – “Even if I am not invited in this rally, I would still come because I am a Bangsamoro”, said Mayor Bai Zahara Upahm Ampatuan of Shariff Aguak municipality in her message during the peace rally urging Congress of the Philippines to pass Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) conducted last May 4, 2014.
The said activity dubbed as “The Peoples’ Popular Ratification of the Bangsamoro Basic Law” was spearheaded by the Mindanao Alliance for Peace (MAP) and participated by more than 70,000 bangsamoro people consisting of women, men and children from different denominations, groups and communities.
A Christian woman teacher supporter of the Bangsamoro said that she is happy to see the development of the Bangsamoro.
“In all rallies, women are always part of it. They serve not just participants but also facilitators and speakers”, said Farida Dalandan, one of the participants and presently the National Vice Chairwoman for External Affairs of the Women Affairs Committee (WAC) of the United Youth for Peace and Development, Inc. (UNYPAD)
“It is really touching that even old women are participating bringing with them their children to get part and witness the historic event”, Farida furthered.
“How I wish that next gathering will be bigger than this and it is already to celebrate the establishment of the Bangsamoro Government as everybody knows that it is a main indicator that peace is already achieved,” she added.
Dr. Abdulmanan Gayak, MAP Chair, thanked various sectors and peace groups, IDPs, politicians, MNLF members and CSOs who participated the gathering; supported the call for Congress to pass the basis law.
He thanked as well the members of the media who covered the affairs throughout Mindanao.
The other rallies were conducted in: Bangolo, Marawi City; Baloi, Lanao del Norte; Pagadian City; Cotabato City Plaza, Cotabato City; Plasa, Pikit, North Cotabato; Round Ball, Tacurong City; Oval Plaza, General Santos City; Rizal Park, Davao City; Isabela City, Basilan; Marina Plaza, Jolo Sulu, and Bongao, Tawi-tawi.