PEACETALK: The BOL is not a perfect law but it is the best now we have in our common interest for peace, unity and progress

(Speech delivered at the Peace Assembly for the ratification of Republic Act 11054 or the Bangsamoro Organic Law at the Shariff Kabunsuan Cultural Complex at the compound of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao on 18 January 2019)\

COTABATO CITY (MindaNews /19 January) — We are gathered in this historic spot of the city of Cotabato where countless of young Moro mujahideen perished either as victims of torture in the hands of the Marcos regime state forces or paramilitary forces or as they conducted tactical attacks against those occupation forces stationed here in the early 70s.

In this historic place, blood was shed by brothers from various places of the Bangsamoro. Some of them Christians who sympathiaed with our cause against colonialism, oppression and exploitation. I remember Rodolfo from Midsayap and one Omar from Basilan were among the group who did not return to their Kakar and Biniruan base a kilometer or two from here.

For them and the thousands like them in the whole length and breadth of Moroland who gave their lives for a better future of the Bangsamoro in their heart, I invite you for a minute of silent prayer.

Now we are here to campaign for the ratification of the law to establish an Autonomous region as a result of a long winding years of negotiations starting from the historic Tripoli Agreement, the Jeddah accord, the 1996 final peace agreement between the GRP and the MNLF and finally the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro between the GRP and MILF.

In accordance with the Tripartite Communique of GPH-MNLF and OIC signed in Jeddah, KSA on 26, Jan 2015, all the gains of the signed peace agreements shall be preserved and converged in the Basic Law to implement Comprehensive Agreement in the Bangsamoro and the implementation of the CAB is partial Implementation of the TA and the FPA.

We thank the President, Mayor Rodrigo Roa Duterte for continuing with peace process already started by his predecessor and came up with the expanded BTC and called for the inclusion of MNLF and other sectors among them the Indigeneous people to redraft a law that would put all on board in the new Bangsamoro political entity. That wise move of the President was welcomed by the leadership of the MNLF. That is the reason we are here. The MNLF had inputted into the new law almost all the provisions that should have been in the previous defective laws crafted by the previous administrations which forced the MNLF to reject those laws.

We witnessed two plebiscites conducted by the government in (1989) and in year 2001. The MNLF and MILF separately rejected those laws. Now because of the acceptability of the RA 11054 or the Bangsamoro Organic Law and the sincerity of the national leadership in passing the law here we are the MNLF and MILF sincerely jointly accepting and embracing it. The BOL is not a perfect law but it is the best now we have in our common interest for peace, unity and progress for our people. It has been no less than five decades of unpeace and uncertainty. It is our chance now to put a dot to all those fears and rage in ourselves.

I call on all of the people in the Bangsamoro proposed autonomous territory particularly this historic great city of Kutawato to rise up and welcome the great offer from a great son of Mindanao to govern ourselves in Bsngsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao.

Let us heed on the call of the President, President Rodrigo Roa Duterte to vote yes to the BOL.