Palace version of BBL won’t address Mindanao armed conflict – Makabayan bloc

MALAYBALAY CITY (MindaNews/19 May) – Malacanang’s version of the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) will not address the root cause of the armed conflict in Mindanao, progressive lawmakers said in a joint statement Tuesday.

The House ad hoc committee on the BBL started voting Monday on the bill on a “per provision basis”.

Calling it a railroaded BBL, the Makabayan bloc, composed of Bayan Muna and four other party-list groups, said the revised version is an “insult to the struggle of the Moro people”.

“Also Malacanang’s hand is obvious in the committee voting on the BBL considering that the bill is being railroaded so fast that congressmen are at a loss on what is going on and at the expense of transparency and procedure,” the statement said.

“This situation was forced upon by the majority by cancelling last week’s amendments but rammed a Malacanang- version which was just given early yesterday. This also seems to be a prelude of the final voting,” it added.

The Makabayan block accused the majority of imposing the Palace version and ignoring the amendments they proposed.

“As it is, the Makabayan bloc recognizes the courageous struggle of the Moro people for the right to national self-determination. This struggle is rooted in the centuries-long and ongoing oppression and exploitation of the Filipino people including the Bangsamoro and other indigenous peoples by the colonial and neocolonial powers and the local ruling elite.

“This struggle forms an important part of the Filipino people’s struggle against foreign and local ruling class domination and enslavement towards genuine independence and democracy,” the statement said.

It added the Bangsamoro must attain and exercise their right to self-determination and genuine autonomy, the socio-economic roots of war addressed, and widespread poverty and injustice eradicated.

“Otherwise, the armed struggle of the Moro people will continue and grow stronger even if the Moro Islamic Liberation Front places its weapons ‘beyond use’,” it said.

The Makabayan bloc said the BBL draft being voted upon by the House committee “falls far short of and does not adequately address the aspirations of the Bangsamoro and indigenous peoples’ struggle because: 1) the BBL grants not full but only limited autonomy; 2) genuine autonomy can never be possible under a neo-colonial, semi-feudal and corrupt state and ruling system; and 3) the BBL does not address the social and economic roots of poverty and injustice.” (MindaNews)