By: UNYPAD BSCD Interns
COTABATO CITY / June 21, 2018 – More than a thousand stakeholders comprised of peace advocates, community leaders, representatives from the academe, civil society organizations, security sector, local government units and Indigenous Peoples gathered at the Notre Dame University Gymnasium in this city on June 18, 2018 to discuss the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) – prospect for inclusive and lasting peace in the Bangsamoro.
The event, primarily aimed to provide the people updates on the Bangsamoro peace process, was organized by the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPPAP) in partnership with the Joint Implementing Panels of the Government of the Philippines (GPH) and Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) together with the Bangsamoro Transition Commission (BTC).
Key personalities present were Undersecretary Nabil Tan from OPPAP, Chairman of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) Peace Implementing Panel Mohagher Iqbal, Chairman of the Bangsamoro Transition Commission (BTC) Ghazali Jaafar, and Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) Regional Governor Mujiv Hataman with his Executive Secretary lawyer Laisa Alamia.
Tan underscored that the passage of the BBL is a commitment of both parties, the government and the MILF, and pointed out that the measure is an agreement between the Bangsamoro people and the Filipino nation.
He further stated that the BBL is a legal instrument that will implement the peace agreement, addresses decades of armed conflict in the Bangsamoro and recognizes the historical injustice committed against the Bangsamoro people.
Tan, also the chairman of the GPH Implementing Panel, stressed that the BBL’s ultimate goal is to attain lasting peace in Mindanao.
After being certified by President Duterte the BBL as urgent, the Senate and the House of Representatives passed their respective version of BBL- Senate Bill 1717 and House Bill 6475.
Members of the Bicameral Conference Committee, coming from the Senate and the Lower House will meet on July 9 to 13 to reconcile their respective versions of Bangsamoro law.
He called on the Bangsamoro and Filipino people to continue supporting Bangsamoro peace process towards the realization of new Bangsamoro region.
Part of the event was an open forum where the people asked clarification about the BBL and issues surrounding the proposed law.
A participant asked why even those against the BBL should support the proposed legislation.
Iqbal replied saying, “The BBL must be supported by the people who are against to it because all of the people in Mindanao will benefit if the BBL is implemented.”
On the question on what will happen to the MILF after the Bangsamoro government will be established, he answered that the MILF will become a social movement who will cater the social gaps of the Bangsamoro people on socio – economic aspects.
After the open forum, the ARMM Regional Governor Hon. Mujiv Hataman gave a closing message citing, “We are in a complicated situation because in this chapter of our history there so many happenings in the present time that has not occurred on the past. We should consider first the interest of all the people before our self-interest because we pledged on the constitution and in our Almighty God, Allah (S.W.T.).”