(IN PHOTO)- President Rodrigo R. Duterte speaking to participants of Bangsamoro Assembly on November 27, 2017 in Maguindanao

Duterte vows to correct historical injustices committed against Moro People

“I will ask the Congress to have a special session for the proposed law”, President Rodrigo Roa Duterte said before the Bangsamoro Assembly participants inside the old Maguindanao Provincial Capitol Gymnasium in Simuay, Sultan Kudarat, Maguindanao, and more than a million more Bangsamoro participants watching on led TV sets installed in various locations in the vicinity of the capitol held last Monday, November 27.

As of 12:05 Noon that day, the One Million participants in the Bangsamoro Assembly has already exceeded the target, while hundreds of thousands participants from the provinces of Lanao del Sur, Lanao del Norte, South Cotabato, and Davao Region were stranded in the three (3) registration posts, according to a report of BTC Commissioner Atty. Raiza Jajurie, Chair of the Committee on Registration and Documentation. 

BTC Chairman and 1ST Vice Chairman of the MILF, Central Committee, Ghazali Jaafar, also Chairman of the Steering Committee of the Bangsamoro Assembly said that more than a million participants have proven their strong support for the passage of the BBL. 

The Bangsamoro Transition Commission (BTC) is mandated to convene a Bangsamoro Assembly as provided for under Executive Order No. 08, duly signed by President Duterte on November 7, 2016

MILF Implementing Peace Panel Chairman, Commissioner Mohaguer Iqbal read some 50 resolutions from different Bangsamoro Organizations, traditional leaders, CSO Federations, MAPEA, RPOC Region 10, indigenous peoples (IPs), migrant settlers, and former lieutenants, and supporters of Misuari’s MNLF Faction.

The Catholic Church was represented by Rev. Orlando Cardinal Quevedo of the Archdiocese of Cotabato who delivered his message of support in the morning of November 27 at the gym.  

The summarized resolutions generally expressed full support, and urged 17th Philippine Congress for the passage of the BBL as the ultimate solution to the Bangsamoro Problem or Question.

“For as long as I could give a realistic solution to the Moro problem, I urged the Moros, the indigenous peoples, and Christians to be united as one. I do not want that anybody is left behind in the peace process”, Duterte stressed.

Al Haj Murad Ebrahim, Chairman of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF)-Central Committee in his welcome remarks said: “It is our distinct privilege to have with us today a proud Mindanaoan, in whose veins run the blood of Moro, and whose election to the highest office of the land a year and a half ago, mirrors the struggle between our forebears here in the south, and the privileged colonialists of the north”. 

“Today, we are witness to how all the four highest ranking officials of the country, who are from Mindanao – the President of the Republic, the Senate President, the Speaker of the House and Chief Justice of the Supreme Court - are the given the unique privilege to preside over the fate of their compatriots in Mindanao, and for that matter, the fate of the whole country”, Chairman Murad said.

Duterte related the colonization of the archipelago by foreigners that started in the coming of the Spaniards in 1521. It’s Allah’s destiny –the coming of the religion, Islam was the first to arrive in Mindanao, and we are all brothers.

American came, and extended the historical injustice for 50 years. The imperialism created the monster, the “cadastral land” to take over the ancestral lands of the Lumads, and the Moros. Eventually, the Moro “ancestral land” was the first taken, and becomes an outright injustice. 

Murad said that as we lay the foundation for the new era in the Bangsamoro through the implementation of the Peace Agreement with the Philippine Government; We call on our people to summon their strength and courage to stand together as one people aspiring for one goal, that of peace and justice for all. We must forge a new partnership with government as one people if we are to confront the new challenges we face such as poverty, poor education, lack of development and insecurity.

“Urging the Filipino people in the north to understand the problem. The issues as far as I am concern, number one is; the preservation of the Philippine Republic, and number two, to correct the historical injustices committed to the Moro” Chairman Murad emphasized. 

“The historical injustices could not be stopped, unless they are corrected,” Duterte said. 

One thing in my mind: “One nation for all, and one republic for all”. That’s why I am doing everything in correcting the historical injustice to ensure the passage of the law that would create a Bangsamoro new political entity so that “you must enjoy your rich natural resources but I ask even a few percentage (60/40%) to sustain the national government,” the President said.