DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 07 January) — I am not a Moro but I am a Bangsamoro. I grew up from childhood and lived in the Moro homeland of Mindanao.
I know the BOL (Bangsamoro Organic Law) will be a reality. No doubt about it.
The fruit of the Moro struggle now about 50 long years – nurtured by loss of precious lives, human sufferings and agony – is now ripe for everyone to harvest.
There will be no magical instant results. Everyone must all help to nurture, tend and nourish it one step at a time. Until it becomes sustainable.
I know even Cotabato City and Isabela City of Basilan, which are both in the heart of the territory and STILL NOT part of the original ARMM will decide to join. Despite the trauma suffered and the lingering doubts by their inhabitants, giving this a last chance to work is the best step to take now. Social healing and acceptance are starting points for cohesion. It may take time but now is the best time to start. There are still untold benefits to the area that need to be shown. A rejection may worsen the situation with a disabling environment. No one can survive as an island apart from the rest.
No worries about Sulu inspite of its perceived “NO TO BOL” for the moment. We understand why there are discordant voices and they are not without reason. But since there is no way to “opt out” of the original ARMM inspite of the NO vote (if ever) in Sulu province, the result will be of no moment. Sulu will be part of the new BARMM, notwithstanding. A Sulu “no vote” will only engender animosity, enmity and inevitably distance and dissatisfaction. Hence, I am confident Sulu will see the light and give the BOL a chance to work.
If things do not happen as expected, it’s not the end of the world. We still have President Duterte whose remaining years in office will enable him to surely align matters, in his own bold — at times, unconventional ways. Truth to tell, were it not for him, this rare chance would not have come to pass.
If all else fails, the BOL, which is a law can later be amended or changed to suit prevailing situations and climes.
So, let’s all give this a try.
Trust President Duterte. This is his “baby”! And he’ll not allow this to be a wasted legacy! (MindaViews is the opinion section of MindaNews. Lawyer Jesus Dureza was Presidentia Adviser on the Peace Process under the Arroyo administration and under the Duterte administration. He resigned in late November 2018, a day after President Rodrigo Duterte fired two of his subordinates for corruption).