Cotabato City -– Various civil society organizations (CSOs), which attended the presentation of the R.A. 11054, or the Organic Law for the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, on August 8, expressed unity in pushing for the implementation of the new law.
Organized jointly by the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process represented by Undersecretary Nabil Tan and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front represented by Mohagher Iqbal, the event was also attended by ARMM Governor Mujiv Hataman, Susana Anayatin of Bangsamoro Transition Commission, and Dato’ Kamarudin bin Mustafa, Malaysian facilitator for the Bangsamoro peace talks.
Hashim Manticayan, speaking on behalf of 64 CSOs under the League of Bangsamoro Organizations, traces the so-called ‘Moro problem’ from post-colonization era. Since those years, he said, the Moro has been marginalized in the aspects of political, socio-economic, and cultural issues.
“The Bangsamoro Organic Law (BOL) is the blood of tens of thousands of martyrs and soldiers who lost their lives for the present and future generations to live a peaceful life,” said Manticayan pertaining to the decades-long struggle of the Moro people.
It was underscored that the BOL is important especially for the youth. “This is for the youth and for the future generations of Bangsamoro because they will be the ones who will reap all these benefits,” he added.
Froilyn Mendoza, a non-Muslim who advocates indigenous peoples’ and women’s rights, said there is still much work to do as she called for the people to vote in affirmation in the coming plebiscite. “BOL must be given flesh and spirit and must be ratified by the people so that the aspiration of our long suffering people will be heard in order to make a change in their lives,” she added.
Meanwhile, ARMM Governor Hataman gives credit to the stakeholders’ unity in attaining this milestone. “Inabot natin ang puntong ito dahil nagkaisa tayo. Inabot din natin ang puntong ito dahil marami sa ating mga kapatid at kababayan ang nagsakripisyo,” he said.
It was earlier noted that R.A. 11054, or the BOL, is a better piece of legislation compared with R.A. 9054, which created the ARMM government. “Kung nagkaisa tayo noon sa ngalan ng ating aspirasyon, kung nagkaisa tayo kahapon sa ngalan ng Bangsamoro interest, nandito na ang panibagong bukas. Magkaisa muna tayo at tignan natin ang kinabukasan ng batas na ito," said Gov. Hataman.
He also posed a challenge to the future leaders of the region. “Sa mga darating na mamamahala sa Bangsamoro alam ko maganda ang framework at batas natin ngayon kumpara sa R.A. 9054 pero ang challenge sa ating lahat, maganda man ang ating sasakyan pero ang kailangan natin ay mahusay na driver at pasahero.”(Bureau of Public Information)
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