UNYPAD Appeals to Pass Original Version of the BBL

 Cotabato City – Amidst the campaign for federalizing Philippines pushed for by the new Presidential administration as a solution to address the political and economic woes of the country, the United Youth for Peace and Development and Development (UNYPAD), the biggest Moro youth organization operating in the Philippines that has been actively supporting the GPH-MILF peace process since its inception, is still holding on the Bangsamoro Basic Law as a solution to address the conflicts and violence in Mindanao.

“We, the Bangsamoro youth, strongly believe that Bangsamro Basic Law (BBL) remains to be our most viable option for the cessation of conflict-related violence in Mindanao,” UNYPAD says in its statement released on 4 July 2016.

The organization cited portion of the Transitional Justice and Reconciliation Commission (TJRC) report in 2016, which states that, “it is a political framework, which shall enable the practice of good governance, the development of the Bangsamoro region and people, and the possibility for them to proudly assert their identity, and constructively engage with their own multi-ethnic constituency.”

It said that even church leaders and constitutional experts pinned their faith on the BBL.

“The renowned Jesuit priest, Fr. Joel Tabora, himself urged that we pass BBL as an organic law for genuine political autonomy in Muslim Mindanao. Atty. Christian Monsod, one of the framers of the 1987 Constitution, opined that the BBL does not claim excessive powers and that we should look at it in its core principle in addressing the marginalization and exclusion of the Bangsamoro people,” the group cited.

“We therefore remain firm and committed in our position: PASS THE BBL IN ITS ORIGINAL FORM,” said UNYPAD.

The group appealed to President Duterte to pass the original version of the BBL and fulfil his promises of implementing all signed peace agreements under his administration.

“With your public pronouncements, we rely on your strong political leadership to urge popular support for the passage of the original version of the BBL. We are hopeful that the roadmap for political transition for Bangsamoro autonomy, as stipulated in CAB, will be accomplished during your term,” the group said to President Duterte. 

“We also depend on you that your plans for federalization will affirm but not affect the Bangsamoro roadmap. Most all, we trust that your administration will save the gains of the peace process and continue the search for sustainable peace in Mindanao,” it continued. 

UNYPAD urged the 17th Congress to pass the BBL and let the concerned constituents decide its fate through a plebiscite upon which we can meaningfully exercise our democratic right to make our choice whether or not to be included under the proposed Bangsamoro political autonomy. The choices of the people whom you represent should be considered and respected

 The group also appealed to young people to continue to work for peace and not to take the path towards radicalization of the means for struggle for liberation of the Bangsamoro.

 It appealed to the entire Filipino people to support the cause of the Bangsamoro by helping advocate for the passage of BBL and urging the national policy makers to allow the roadmap for the political transition for Bangsamoro.

“Your understanding of our struggle contributes to the healing of the wounds of the past and in promoting reconciliation,” UNYPAD stressed. 

“This is our best chance for a genuine and lasting peace in Mindanao,” it added.