Conversation on BOL from Bullets to Ballots

“Breaking Boundaries Conversation from Bullets to Ballots” was the title of a  of teachers and students from different barangays of North Cotabato held on December 2, 2018 at Asian Foundation College of Technology, Kabacan, North Cotabato. 

Dr. Parido R. Pigkaulan, member of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) General Staff was the guest of honor and speaker. He spoke on the Bangsamoro Organic Law (BOL). 

Dr. Pigkaulan started his lecture on the early crafting of the then Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) by the Bangsamoro Transition Commission (BTC) where the Indigenous people’s rights were hotly pursued by the IP members in the Commission. 

While the BTC was still crafting their own version of BBL, many versions were filed at the House of Representatives, and the Senate, such as the Dimaporo version, the Sema version, the Zubiri version, the Gloria Arroyo version until the BARMM or in short the Bangsamoro Organic Law (BOL) was enacted by congress.

Another resource person named Mr. Benjamin M. Wahab spoke on the territory, the look-out persons during election day known as the watchdogs, and the rules and guidelines of the Commission on Elections (COMELEC). 

Mr. Wahab is a teacher by profession (on-leave) connected with DepEd, and an official of the United Bangsamoro Justice Party (UBJP).

In the open forum, a female teacher asked, may be jokingly or not, and said: If the BOL will win and we will be covered by it, would I become rich? As some others say, or would I be terminated from by employment as teacher? Or would I be driven out and send back to Luzon or Visayas? Or other situation may befall on me? 

Dr. Pigkaulan answered in serious and in joke mode said: There was an individual who is a known as a finance expert and said: “With all the taxes, grants and other revenues in the BARMM, and if it will be given to every individual in the BARMM, at One Million Pesos each for every individual, the total money of the BARMM will not be consumed which means many will still remain on it”. This is taking for granted only because the money of the autonomous government will return to the people is the form of social services, infrastructures, some for livelihood and others. 

The participants were led by DepEd Principal Habi Balayanan, teacher Mrs. Grace Afdal, and teacher Ms. Noraida Datumanong, all under the DepEd. Many questions were raised and answered very satisfactorily.