Massive support shown in BOL campaign launch

Hundred of thousands of supporters of the Bangsamoro Organic Law (BOL) flocked to Cotabato City for the kickoff rally on Monday December 10 to officially launch the massive campaign for the law.

Clad in green shirts printed with “Yes to BOL”, the participants occupied the compound of the ARMM and both lanes of the 676-meter Gov. Gutierrez Avenue leading to the venue were closed to traffic from early morning up to noontime.

MILF Chairman Al haj Murad Ebrahim, also the President of the United Bangsamoro Justice Party UBJP, was keynote speaker for the event that was jointly spearheaded by the Peace Implementing Panels of the Government of the Philippines GPH and MILF.

Ebrahim profusely thanked the participants who withstood the scorching heat.

“Alam ko ang inyong sakripisyo ngayon, dahil noon pa man ay nagsakripisyo na kayo,” he told the very big crowd. I am aware of your sacrifice today, just as you have sacrificed ever since.

Ebrahim emphasized the nature of the BOL, calling it as the “product of so many struggles.”

“This is not an ordinary law … because it was bought with the blood, tears and sacrifices of our people.”

The MILF Chairman, who has made his public appearance in the ARMM for the first time, also underscored the fact the passage of the BOL also marks the first time that a law is agreed upon by all parties to the peace process, referring to the MILF, MNLF and the GPH.

“If this BOL has not been passed, I don't’ know if another similar law can be still be possible,” he said.

For such reason, he appealed to the few who are still opposing the ratification of BOL to be “objective in evaluating the BOL.” 

“Until now those who oppose cannot cite any provision that they don't like, because there is no wrong in the BOL,” he also stressed.

He urged those anti-BOL to set aside parochial political interests to give way to the collective aspiration of the greater Bangsamoro society.


The four-hour long rally was graced by cross-section of the Bangsamoro.

ARMM Regional Governor Mujiv Hataman warmly hosted the delegates headed by the MILF Chairman and some officials of the MILF Central Committee and UBJP. 

Traditional leaders, elected local government officials, businessmen, youth, indigenous peoples, ulama and Catholic Church representatives were given time to address the mammoth crowd.

Plebiscite is scheduled on January 21, 2019 for the ARMM, Isabela City and Cotabato City.

For the province of Lanao del Norte, the municipalities of Aleosan, Carmen, Kabacan, Midsayap, Pikit and Pigcawayan in the province of North Cotabato, and all other areas contiguous to any of the Bangsamoro core areas where a) the local government of such area, by way of resolution, asked for inclusion in the plebiscite, b) or at least 10% of the registered voters in a local government unit, by way of a petition, asked for inclusion in the plebiscite, the plebiscite will be held on February 6, 2019.

Similar rallies are also being planned to be held in other areas covered by the plebiscite.

Cotabato City professionals, including medical doctors, together with UBJP party officials and volunteers were seen collecting thrashes after the crowd dispersed. ###