By UNYPAD ComTeam
COTABATO CITY/September 19, 2017 – Some one hundred fifty student leaders from colleges and universities in Central Mindanao attended the forum on BBL organized by the Commission on Higher Education of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (CHED-ARMM) in partnership with the League of Bangsamoro Organization (LBO) at Pagana Native Restaurant, Cotabato City on September 17, 2017.
“The primary objective of the forum is to reach out to the different stakeholders to raise their awareness on the provisions of the expanded BBL,” said CHED-ARMM Commissioner, Dr. Amor Pendaliday.
“Similar forum in the past was conducted by the academe and doctors. Knowing the vital role of the youth in the proposed Bangsamoro Government, student leaders must also be informed of the BBL,” he said.
Hashim Manticayan, President of the LBO, reminded the student leaders of their responsibilities.
“As students, you need to prepare yourselves by acquiring necessary knowledge and skills. Bangsamoro leaders are getting older. We are not aspiring to become leaders but we must be ready to face the future challenges and realities,” Manticayan said.
Norul-am Abdullah, LBO Supreme Council member, imparted words of wisdom. He reiterated the important role of the youth during the time of prophets.
“The youth had played significant role during the time of uncertainty and in peaceful situation,” he said.
Professor Raby Angkal, Chief of Staff of the Bangsamoro Transition Commission (BTC), discussed the Bangsamoro struggle for the right to self-determination (RSD) and the GPH-MLF peace process.
“The primary aim of the Bangsamoro struggle for RSD is to correct the historical injustices committed against the Bangsamoro several decades ago,” he stressed.
“The war between MILF and GPH is purely political and not religious,” he added.
“The highly immoral Spanish and American Treaty of Paris, illegal annexation of the Bangsamoro people to the Philippines, and land policies that marginalized the Bangsamoro in their own lands are the roots of the conflict in Mindanao,” Angkal opined.
“Comprehensive development was denied to the Bangsamoro. As such, they remained poor and uneducated. Moreover, the government failed to protect the lives and properties of the Bangsamoro. Thousands of them died after several massacres committed by the government military during the Martial Law of President Marcos. The situation forced the Bangsamoro to form revolutionary organizations and engaged in a violent armed conflict to protect their lives and properties,” Angkal said.
Angkal also presented the expected development after the Bangsamoro government will be in place.
“Socio-economic and political development will be showcased leading towards peace and stability in the Bangsamoro areas and neighboring places,” he pointed out.
Asked about what will happen should the peace process fail, Angkal said: “in case the peace process will not succeed, the MILF forces are still intact.”
Bangsamoro Mufti Abdulrahman “Abuhuraira” Udasan discussed the Islamic perspective of violent extremism.
“The ISIS inspired-group like the groups of Maute and Abu Toraifie are deviated from the teachings of Islam. Islam is a religion of peace. Bombing, kidnapping, killing of innocent civilians, and other terroristic activities are prohibited in Islam,” he emphasized.
He also clarified that the ongoing fighting between the MILF troops and followers of Abu Toraifie is merely accidental due to the unavoidable circumstances that forced the MILF troops to fight against them. MILF is only trying to protect and secure people in its areas of responsibility.
Kim Bagundang, Director for Special Concern of DENR 12, presented the socio-economic situation of the Bangsamoro.
“Bangsamoro is rich in natural resources but we fail to maximize them,” Kim, also an active member of the LBO, explained.
Yusoph Lumambas, Vice President for Internal affairs of the LBO and Secretary General of UNYPAD, facilitated the plenary session that resulted to the adoption of a manifesto in support to the speedy passage of the BBL.