In photo-Mohagher Iqbal, Chair of the MILF Peace Implementing Panel speaks to the audience during a Peace Assembly for the Ratification of R.A. No. 11054 at Municipal Gymnasium, Carmen, North Cotabato

Iqbal: “Yes” vote is for peace, unity and development

The Chairman of the MILF Peace Implementing Panel and concurrent BTC Commissioner Mohagher Iqbal said, the “yes” vote is for peace, unity and development. 

He enlightened the audience on the result of the plebiscite where the “yes” vote soared high in the provinces of Maguindanao, Lanao, Sulu, and Basilan. 

The same “yes” led against “no” in a very wide margin in Cotabato City, despite the strong opposition by Mayor Frances Cynthia Guiani- Sayadi.

He made the pronouncement in the Assembly for the Ratification of the Bangsamoro Organic Law (BOL) held on January 24, 2019 at the Municipal Gymnasium, Carmen, North Cotabato. 

He also told the participants about the results of the plebiscite in Isabela City where the “no” won but with a very little difference.  

He explained the principle of double majority as like a family where one member wants to emancipate by asking to get marry. His act of asking permission from the father constitutes as first consent and the approval of the rest members of the family constitutes the second consent. He touched his citation of “rainbow” in the past as having similar essence in “unity in diversity” where different colors corroborate each other to attain unique beauty. He also said everyone in Mindanao has a space in this land.

Prof. Rabi Angkal, Chief of Staff of the Bangsamoro Transition Commission (BTC) Chairman Ghazali Jaafar stressed that there is no discriminatory provision in the BOL.  A Christian, an IP or a Muslim has the same rights under the BOL. This is so because during the deliberations on the law, members of congress ensured that all sectors in the Bangsamoro have equal rights. 

BTC Commissioner Melanio Ulama who represents the IPs said, the “yes” votes overwhelmingly won in his municipality especially in the communities of the IPs. He said that in the past, a Moro is treated as second class citizen, while the IP is treated as third class citizen, but under in the BOL, everybody is treated as equal.

The affair was hosted by Mayor Roger Taliño of Carmen town who was represented by Vice Mayor Moises C. Arendain. He spoke of full support to the BOL. Another Sanguniang Bayan member Alberto Rivera expressed strong support to the BOL.

Other attendees in the gathering were the Deputy Governor of North Cotabato Edres Gandalibo and his aide Nasser Ali. 

On the MILF side were North Cotabato Provincial Chairman Nasser Mustafa and Pagalungan Municipal Chairman Datu Guinda. The Carmen Municipal LGUs, barangay LGUs, AFP and PNP men secured the venue. MILF commanders and men also attended. Civilians composing the tri-people composed the crowd.