Passing BBL Will Prevent Violent Extremism-FBCSO Vice President

DATU ODIN SINSUAT, MAGUINDANAO- “Passing the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) will prevent violent extremism in Mindanao”, said Nash Pulindao, Vice-President of Federation of Bangsamoro Civil Society Organizations in a peace advocacy organized by the MILF Kutawato Provincial Political Committee held in this progressing town on February 25.

“The MILF is consistent in its belief that the BBL will be passed this 2018”, Pulindao added.

He emphasized that unity and solidarity among the tri-people are the keys to lasting peace in Mindanao.

The BBL is a legal instrument stipulated in the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro (CAB) signed in 2014 that will put in place a new political entity called Bangsamoro. 

The CAB is a product of almost 17-years peace negotiations between the Philippine Government (GPH), and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF).

“Aside from establishing a new political entity, the BBL also provides for a basic structure of government in recognition of the justness, and legitimacy of the cause of the Bangsamoro people, and their aspiration to chart their political future through a democratic process that will secure their identity, and posterity and allow for meaningful self-governance”, Pulindao told the participants.

Professor Esmael Abdula, President of Kalilintad Peacebuilding Institute and BLMI Steering Committee member and Training Officer, explained the stages of Bangsamoro Struggle for right to self-determination. 

“Addressing the historical injustices committed against the Moro people is the ultimate solution to the Bangsamoro Problem towards genuine peace in Mindanao”, Abdula stressed.

According to the narration of Abdula, these historical injustices began from the time of the conquest up to the Filipino Colonial period when the Moro Homeland was illegally annexed to the Philippine Archipelago after the defeat of Spain by America in the Battle of Manila Bay, and consequently signed the Treaty of Paris without the consent of the inhabitants of Mindanao.

From then, the Moro people had faced systematic marginalization, minorization, illegal and immoral annexation to the Philippine, thus the injustices became dovetailed into single problem- the Moro Problem.

This time, the Moro people particularly members of the Bangsamoro Islamic Armed Forces of the (BIAF-MILF) are urging the government, particularly congress to fast track the passage of BBL, warning that they cannot accept another “frustration”.

One BIAF Officer said that another frustration could possibly lead to defection to the other side, the radicals who are out to sow terror on peaceful communities. These radical elements would not differentiate whether it is a Moro dominated community, or Christian populated areas. They know no law, and they follow their radical beliefs just to achieve their goal of establishing an Islamic State.

“We have celebrated inside our camps during the signing of the Framework Agreement on the Bangsamaro (FAB) in 2012, but we were disappointed when the 16th Congress failed to pass the old BBL. We hope we will not lose our patience this time, one BIAF top Commander told Luwaran. 

The advocacy was attended by various sectors of society such as local officials, religious, and traditional leaders, women, youth, members of the academe, business sector, officers, and members of the BIAF-MILF based in Datu Odin Sinsuat, and nearby municipalities.