COTABATO CITY (MindaNews / 10 Feb) – As the Senate inquiry on the Mamasapano carnage began, throngs of Bangsamoro people and representatives of civil society organizations went to the streets and plazas in Mindanao Tuesday to reiterate calls for the passage of the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL).
Rallyists gathered at the Cotabato City plaza to air their desire for the passage of the BBL.
The rally from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. was organized by the Mindanao Alliance for Peace (MAP). There were simultaneous rallies in Pikit in North Cotabato, General Santos City, Marawi City, Isabela City, Pagadian City, Bongao in Tawi-tawi, Jolo in Sulu, Davao City, Quezon City and Tacurong City.
The scheduled rally for Tacurong City in Sultan Kudarat was transferred to Datu Paglas in Maguindanao after the group failed to secure a permit in Tacurong. Meanwhile, a caravan heading for Zamboanga City was stopped by policemen as the city government strictly enforced the no-permit no-rally policy.
“At least one million people are in attendance in various rally sites,” claimed Raby Angkal, of MAP.
Streamers calling for the passage of the draft law littered around downtown where the assembly was held.
The group said it is opposed to plans to water down the bill. It also urged the country’s lawmakers to continue the BBL deliberations according to the road map of the government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (GPH-MILF).
“BBL ang susi sa pangmatagalang katahimikan sa Mindanao. Isabatas na!” (BLL is the key to lasting peace in Mindanao. Pass the law!) a streamer said.
Angkal also urged legislators not to sacrifice the gains of the 17-year-old peace process and asked them to conduct separate probe of the Mamasapano carnage.
“The people of Mindanao are tired of war. They are tired of evacuation and the cycle of violence. This can only stop if the BBL is approved and implemented,” Rangkal said.