QUEZON CITY (MindaNews / 11 June) – A human rights group wants Senator Ferdinand Marcos Jr., in his version of the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law, to include the alleged atrocities against the Moro people committed by the military under the martial law regime of his father.
Teodoro de Mesa, chair of the Philippine Alliance of Human Rights Advocates (PAHRA), said if Senator Marcos wants to have a lasting peace and reconciliation in Mindanao, his version of the Bangsamoro Basic Law should include the alleged atrocities as a starting point.
“It should not be about writing another version. Senator Marcos should include the atrocities because it is a starting point for reconciliation. The victims have suffered long enough with no justice,” De Mesa said.
He said Senator Marcos has the chance to choose either to correct a historical wrong or follow the footsteps of his father, who was later ousted during the People Power Revolution in 1986, and continue the injustice against the Moros.
Senator Marcos has rejected the draft bill on the Bangsamoro, saying that it will just produce discord and discontent among the Moros and other stakeholders in Mindanao.
Marcos said he is considering to amend the Organic Act creating the Autonomous Region Of Muslim Mindanao rather than passing the BBL.
Meanwhile, Malacañang announced the Moro Islamic Liberation Front will start the decommissioning of firearms and combatants on June 16.
“Phase 1 of the process will begin with the ceremonial turnover of 55 high-powered firearms and 20 crew-served weapons, and the decommissioning of 145 members of the MILF’s Bangsamoro Islamic Armed Forces,” government peace panel chair Miriam Coronel Ferrer said.
She said the government and the MILF had agreed to the gradual decommissioning of combatants last January 2014.
She said the firearms will be turned over to the Independent Decommissioning Body (IBD) while combatants will undergo registration, verification and validation process.
Ferrer said the combatants will be provided with cash assistance amounting to P25,000 and PhilHeath cards.
In a press conference held in Quezon City Thursday, Marawi-based leader Agakhan Sharief, who earned the moniker “Bin Laden” because of his long beard, reminded Senator Marcos that it was his father who started the atrocities against the Moro people.
“Did Senator Marcos forget the Jabidah Massacre? Martial Law was a traumatic period for the Moro people,” he said.
Jabidah Massacre, which happened in Corregidor Island in 1968, involved the killing a number of young Moros who were recruited by the Marcos government to reclaim Sabah.
The massacre has been regarded as the spark that started the Moro insurgency in Mindanao.