" BBL promotes social justice, national unity and reconciliation ": Iqbal

Cotabato City. January 11, 2018 – “Bangsamoro Basic Law promotes Social Justice, National Unity and Reconciliation, and discussed its opportunities and challenges,” MILF Peace Implementing Chair Mohagher Iqbal stressed to the participants of CSO, NGO leaders Consultation - Dialogue on Promoting Peace, and Prevention of Violent Extremism conducted by CBCS with funding support from UNDP held at Estosan Hotel, Cotabato City on January 8 - 11, 2018 which culminate today. 

Iqbal in his opening statement asked, " What did the MILF, and the government tried to solve when they agreed to negotiate in January 1997? We agreed to solve the Bangsamoro problem.       

Bangsamoro problem in his discussion involves a wide variety of social, cultural, economic, and political issues and concerns on: ancestral domain, displaced and Landless Bangsamoro, destruction of properties, and war victims, human rights issues, social and cultural discrimination, corruption of the mind, and the moral fiber, economic inequities and widespread poverty, exploitation of natural resources, agrarian related issues and other societal divides.      

But Iqbal argued that addressing these issues, and concerns will not solve the Bansamoro problem because the core of the problem is about the grant of genuine self – governance, and the establishment of a system of life and governance suitable, and acceptable to the Bangsamoro people, and the formula as contained in the Bangsamoro Basic Law.     

He also argued that BBL does not only promotes social justice but is all about social justice, and it addresses the legitimate grievances of the Bangsamoro people committed against them by the changing regimes in Manila starting from the Americans down to the Filipino administrations. It is also a menu to correct historical injustices against them that led to the loss of sovereignty, their homeland, and development as people. 

Likewise, it is an effective measure to ensure national unity, and cohesiveness of this country, and a menu to prevent the spread of violent extremism particularly in Mindanao.       

Chair Iqbal also stressed that Bangsamoro Basic Law may result in healing, and reconciliation considering that it takes into full account the legitimate interest, and concerns of the various groups in the Bangsamoro namely, the Moros, indigenous people, migrant settlers, and other sectors of society on their basic rights, representation in the parliament, and government, sharing of resources and justice system. 

“The opportunity to pass the BBL is now present considering that unity among MNLF, and MILF are going strong. The passage of BBL is a key to arrest the frustration of the Bangsamoro people, and likewise empowers them. They can effectively check the spread of violent radicalization in Mindanao. " Bangsamoro Basic Law is an antidote to secession, " he concluded.