Photo by: MUWOGEN

SouthMin Moro CSOs support the urgent passage of BTC-drafted BBL

Various Moro Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) from Southern Mindanao declared their support for the urgent passage of the Bangsamoro Basic law (BBL) drafted by the Bangsamoro Transition Commission (BTC) during the Public Hearing for the proposed law held at Koronadal City last Friday (March 9) hosted by the House of Representatives.

The civic groups which constitute the Consortium of Bangsamoro Civil Society said in a declaration read before the lawmakers present that the BTC-drafted BBL embodies the concrete expression of self-determination of the Bangsamoro, “a right that is acknowledged by international conventions and is guaranteed by our Constitution.”  

“The BBL is the result of protracted peace negotiations between the Government of the Philippines (GPH) and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF). It presents an opportunity to build needed social structures to promote lasting peace and unity, healing and reconciliation, and eventually conflict transformation; thereby catalyzing development in the Bangsamoro homeland,” the group said.

The CSOs further said that the proposed measure addresses legitimate grievances of the Bangsamoro and historical injustices committed against them by both colonial and past Philippine government administrations.

“We call on the national government to implement all needed institutional and structural reforms that will guarantee the rule of law to prevail.  We further call on our officials to respect legislations and international conventions like the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law that our country has committed to uphold,” the Moro declaration further stated.

“Thus, we can forge highly resilient communities that can address various challenges, internal or external, including the current fear of the intrusion of extremist violence in our midst,” it further said.

Mustab Macaliba, Professional Sector Head from Sto. Nino in South Cotabato said they have studied the BBL and they found out that it could be the most effective solution to the incessant armed conflict in Southern Philippines.

Aniza Caniba, chairperson of the women sector of the same town, said their group believes BBL will usher peace and stability in Mindanao and will pave the way for economic development.

“We have been yearning for the upliftment of the Bangsamoro in terms of political, social and economic aspects,” she added.

The head of women sector from Banga town in South Cotabato expressed her belief that the BBL will bring economic prosperity for the Bangsamoro people. “We also believe that with BBL, there will be bright future for the Bangsamoro youth,” she added.

“For us, the BBL is the only way that will end the various problems faced by the Bangsamoro people and by passing this law, the dreamed development will be achieved,” Ustadz Mohamad Ambod, President of Provincial Madaris Federation of South Cotabato said.

Ebrahim Sandigan from the Dawah Council in General Santos City said the BBL shall address the marginalization, grievances and injustices committed against the Bangsamoro people. “

“BBL will also address the emerging violent extremism which can be attributed to hopelessness among some Moro individuals,” he added.