DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/11 November) – A Moro youth leader from Davao Oriental said that even as her province is not part of the proposed core territory of the future Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) she hopes RA 11054 or the Organic Law for the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao gets ratified on January 21, 2019 to end the cycle of wars suffered by the Bangsamoro in their struggle to assert their right to self determination.
Nor Jannah Noriel-Gulembayan, director of the Concerned Bangsamoro Youth of Davao Oriental (CBYDO), Inc. called on her fellow youth and other women leaders from outside the core territory to support the ratification of the law that will pave the way for the establishment of the BARRM.
“This agony has led us to understand the ‘hikma,’ the wisdom of being patient, being strong, being full of hopes. We continue hoping for a better future, a better Bangsamoro, and a more unified Bangsamoro,” said Gulembayan, who was among those who attended the Bangsamoro Visioning workshop held earlier this month at the Royal Mandaya Hotel.
President Rodrigo Duterte signed RA 11054 into law on July 27, the enabling law of the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro signed by the government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front in 2014.
Gulembayan enjoined them to take part in the peace-building efforts in their respective communities, continue supporting the advocacy of the Bangsamoro leaders for a better Bangsamoro, and live up to what is expected of them as the “hope of our motherland.”
She said the women are needed in fostering a better society by being a role model in the family.
“We will be grateful if we can have an autonomy in all aspects of governance. We, Moro people from the outside core territory, continue to support them to give our future generation better lives even if that would compel us to spend all the money we have, all the time we have left, because this is Jihad fi Sabilillah (struggle in the cause of God),” she said.
She added the struggle has taught them to persevere amid the discrimination and other forms of injustices inflicted on the Moro people.
Gulembayang said the Bangsamoro must prepare for the future by equipping themselves with knowledge and strengthening their religious faith to become more resilient and self-reliant during the transition period.
The transition period will commence upon ratification of the Bangsamoro law which will establish the Bangsamoro Transition Authority (BTA) as an interim government until the election of the first set of officials in 2022.
“We faced voluminous, various and countless challenges in our family, our community, and our organization. But we should not stop. We dream. And it is high time, that in our own little way, we should struggle more. This is no longer a battle of bullets. This is already a battle of minds. Let us do something. Let us move forward,” she said.
Multisectoral Bangsamoro Visioning Exercises were held on November 1 to 9 in key areas in Mindanao to come up with a common Bangsamoro Vision that will guide the BTA during the transition period from 2019 to 2022 and the Bangsamoro government that will be inaugurated on June 30, 2022.
Datu Mussolini Sinsuat Lidasan, one of the commissioners of the Bangsamoro Transition Commission, said the Bangsamoro’s proposed territorial jurisdiction covers the ARMM area (Basilan, Sulu, Tawi-Tawi, Lanao del Sur and Maguindanao), six towns in Lanao del Norte and 39 barangays in North Cotabato.
He said the six towns and 39 barangays will vote in a one-time plebiscite to determine if majority of its residents want to be part of the Bangsamoro territory.
He added that areas outside the core territories can become part of the Bangsamoro territory through a resolution of the local government unit or upon petition of at least 10% of the registered voters and approved by the majority of the qualified voters cast in the plebiscite.
Under the future Bangsamoro government, Lidasan explained that residents will vote for the representatives of the 80-member Bangsamoro parliament, with chief minister and two deputy chief ministers elected by majority votes from among the members of the Parliament.
He added the 80-member Bangsamoro Parliament is composed of 50% party representatives, 40% district representatives, and 10% reserved seats and sectoral representatives from non-Moro IPs and settler communities. (Antonio L. Colina IV/ MindaNews).