Liga ng mga Barangay-Mindanao chapter supports BBL

The Liga ng mga Barangay sa Pilipinas, in partnership with the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP) organized a forum on the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) held at SMX Convention Center, Pasay City on Monday, April 23, 2018.

The forum aimed to discuss the salient features of the BBL to the barangay officials in Mindanao and to discuss the roles of the local government units in the future Bangsamoro.

First part of the program was lecture on the understanding of the Moro struggle in the Philippines. It is no less than the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) Peace Implementing Panel Chair, and member of the Bangsamoro Transition Commission (BTC), Mohagher Iqbal, who narrated the history of the Moro struggle, emphasizing historical injustices committed against the Bangsamoro, including loss of sovereignty and identity, land dispossession and massacres, as among the reasons of the the Bangsamoro armed struggle. 

Other lectures were on the "The Issue of Marginalization Through Land Dispossession in Mindanao" delivered by Prof. Faina Abaya-Ulindang, PhD, of Mindanao State University, Marawi City; "Overview on the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro under the GPH-MILF Peace Process" delivered by OPAPP Assistant Secretary Dickson P. Hermoso, Member of the Government Implementing Panel for the GPH-MILF Peace Accord; "Salient Features of the Proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law" delivered by Commissioner Atty. Jose I. Lorena, member of BTC; and "Governance in the Bangsamoro: Checks and Balance in the Proposed Bangsamoro by Commissioner" delivered by Atty. Maisarah Dandamun-Latiph, also a member of BTC. 

Discussion on the "Opportunities and Prospects for Development and Inclusive Growth in the Proposed Bangsamoro" was also part of the program. It was delivered by Asec. Romeo M. Montenegro, Deputy Executive Director, Mindanao Development Authority; Dr. Saffrullah Dipatuan, Chair, Bangsamoro Development Agency (BDA); Mr. Edgar L. Bullecer, Director for External relations, UGP Inc. BTC Commissioners Atty. Omar Yasser C. Sema and Dr. Susana S. Anayatin were also present as commentators of the subject.

One of the highlights of the program was the session on "Happy with DU30", in which Secretary Harry Roque, the Presidential Spokesperson, reaffirmed the commitment of President Rodrigo Roa Duterte to pass the law this year. According to Secretary Roque, they called the leaders at the Barangay level in order to help in ratifying the BBL during the upcoming plebiscite as it is no more issue whether it will pass or not in the Congress because the President had already promised to pass it. 

He further said “Kayo pong mga barangay leaders, nasa inyong kamay ang pagpapanalo ng Bangsamoro Basic Law."

Towards the end of the program, OPAPP Usec. Nabil A. Tan, Chair of the Government Implementing Panel for the GPH-MILF Peace Accord, Congressman Wilter "Sharky" Wee Palma II, Chair of the House Subcommittee on the BBL; Congresswoman Amihilda J. Sangcopan, Partylist, Anak Mindanao (AMIN) gave updates, impressions and prospects on the passage of the BBL. 

In his message, Usec. Tan underscored the local leaders’ role as front liners in the peace process in the communities, even calling them “very important partners.”

Before the end of the program, the barangay leaders who are from Mindanao declared their strong and vivid support for the passage of the BBL, which are now pending in both Houses of the Congress.

In clear declaration of support, the group made a resolution which states, among others, the following: 

"This August body, desirous to form part of the solution that the people in Mindanao sought for so long a time, after carefully assessing all the provisions of the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law, while considering the same to be not perfect nor cure it all piece of document, and in anticipating the much awaited Federal Form of Government to take place in not a distant future - even entertaining the right of the indigenous people, LGBT's, Christian concerns and further seeking ways how to assist the present Administration - finds it more compelling that the same concern, if addressed positively, is the only option left to end the bloodshed between peoples in Mindanao, the land of promise."

They resolved further "to declare full support to the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL)."