IN PHOTO- Tarps hang on trees stressing one single voice of participants to the advocacy program at Datu Paglas, Maguindanao

Damakling Province Holds Advocacy Program on Understanding BOL

Datu Paglas, Maguindanao –Damakling Province of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) in partnership with the BIAF-MILF Eastern Mindanao Front, and Social Welfare Committee held and facilitated an advocacy program with the theme: 'Strengthening Unity, Solidarity and Cooperation towards Understanding the BOL.”

Damakling Province is headed by Sheikh Esmael P. Dalinan , while Eastern Mindanao Front of MILF BIAF is headed by Commander Ameruddin "Jack" Abbas.

About 27,000 thousand individuals from Bangsamoro communities, Christian Settlers and Indigenous Peoples from Maguindanao, and nearby areas participated in advocacy program. 

The overwhelming participation of various sectors of Bangsamoro manifested their commitment to support the BOL, by voting yes during the plebiscite scheduled on January 21st, 2019.

In his message, Mohagher Iqbal, Chair of the MILF Peace Implementing Panel said that despite the snowballing of support by various political leaders in the core territory, and the overwhelming acceptance by the Moro people of BOL, there are still more challenges that need to be addressed.

Iqbal quoted Pres. Rodrigo Duterte who said, “I have made my promises to the Bangsamoro people to ratify the law in answer to their quest for self-determination. The challenge now is in the hands of people to ratify it during referendum.”

Chairman Iqbal focused in giving awareness to the participants about the contents of the enacted law, where he stressed, first, the relations of three kinds of laws in the civil view. He states that a Constitution is an elder law that constitutes all major provisions that democratically recognized the will of people within a unitary form of government. 

Also, he emphasized that a Basic Law that was pushed by the leadership to pass in both chambers that supposedly to entrench the rights of people to address their aspiration, while in an Organic law though having minimum powers, yet it is a good to start to address the Bangsamoro quest that most probably will be accepted by the Supreme Court. 

“Having 85 percentage of gains in the peace process is good to nurture and this is the reason why we need to accept this law, “ Iqbal stressed.

In addition, he elaborated some provisions contained in the BOL that is equivalent to a nationhood which is recognized by the International Community. 

On the provision of autonomy, the Bangsamoro can take care, among others, directly about Pilgrimage and Umrah Hajj, establishing more developed Madrasah as school of thoughts for Muslims, the Shari'ah Courts, Islamic Banking and Financing, Halal Certification, Halal Barter Trading as part of developing relations with the nearer Asian Countries, including the General Welfare Clause that states all basic rights of the people, the automatic appropriation of Block Grant, Special Development Fund for an expansion of services, and the Parliamentary form of government that will cater participatory and more inclusive brand of government.

He also elaborated on the Shari’ah Justice System that is under the administration of the Supreme Court.

Before ending his message, he urged everyone that in order to strengthen unity, solidarity and cooperation as Bangsamoro they must understand organic law as a result of hard and harsh work by government and the MILF.

“We leave you now a legacy which was signed already between the government and the leadership, to mention, the Framework Agreement of the Bangsamoro and Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro that were witnessed by the International Third Party Facilitator.