Marawi folk blame Aquino for death of BBL

MARAWI CITY (MindaNews/02 February) — Residents here blamed President Benigno Aquino III for the failure of Congress to pass the Bangsamoro Basic Law before it adjourns next week.

In a rally on Monday, some residents said Aquino did not do enough to convince the lawmakers to pass the bill.

Numbering around 5,000, they minced no words in criticizing the president, even shouting “Noynoy, traydor ka,” (Noynoy, you’re a traitor).

An old woman cried to reporters that the law would have been a dream come true for the Bangsamoro people who have suffered marginalization for years.

“[The] Bangsamoro Basic Law would have uplifted our lives. Now even our dreams are no longer there,” she said.

Najmah Arcadio Batugan, an 18-year-old education student of the Khadijah Muhammad Islamic Academy in Marawi City, said she could not understand where the prejudice and bias against the Bangsamoro people came from.

“There is so much similarities in our two people. Why can’t they accept that the Moro people are their neighbors. If my parents can do it, why cant we?,” Batugan said.

She said her mother is a Christian and his father is a Muslim and she lived in both worlds in Dipolog and Marawi cities.

Former House member Benasing Macarambon Jr. said there was so much disappointment in Lanao del Sur and Marawi City after Congress failed to pass the BBL.

Macarambon said they were hoping Aquino could influence Congress into passing the BBL not the Basic Law for the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region or BLBAR.

“I told my people that President Aquino should not be blamed for this but they are no longer listening. They think that President Aquino did not fulfill his end of the bargain in the agreement he signed with the MILF,” he said.

In a manifesto, the Marawi-based Ranao Confederation for Peace said the non-passage of the draft BBL was “deliberate” and blamed “anti-BBL” legislators for it.

The group singled out Cagayan de Oro Rep. Rufus Rodriguez, chair of the committee on the BBL;  Zamboanga City Rep. Celso Lobregat; and senators Ferdinand Marcos Jr; Peter Cayetano and Grace Poe.

“They demonstrated their irrational, insensitive and flawed judgment of the aspirations of the Bangsamoro people,” the group led by Datu Musa Sultan said. (Froilan Gallardo/MindaNews)