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Posted on 26 August 2015 by cbcs_mike

Twenty five (25) Regional Officers and members of the Bangsamoro Network for Solidarity and Accountability (BANSA) of the Sugoda Buayan Regional Chapter – a conglomeration of multi-sectoral Moro society base in General Santos City expressed concern on the current situation of the of the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) in the two Houses of Congress.

BANSA Sugoda Buayan Chapter Chairman Hadji Solaiman Kamad presiding in the Meeting

BANSA Sugoda Buayan Chapter Chairman Hadji Solaiman Kamad presiding in the Meeting

The apprehension of BANSA Regional Officers had been subject of their regular meeting which was held at the Science and Technology Training Center, Mindanao State University in General Santos City on August 22 – 23, 2015 attended by twenty five Officers and Members.

Hadji Solaiman Kamad, the Regional Chairman of the BANSA Sugoda Buayan Regional Chapter said in Maguindanaon dialect that “the Officers and Members of BANSA together with their communities had been very supportive of the GPH-MILF Negotiation from the start up to the crafting of the BBL.” However, he stressed that with the current changes, dilutions and insertions made with the Bangsamoro Transition Commission’s (BTC) original BBL embodied under HB4994. Eventually, both Houses of Representatives and Senate made their own versions of the BBL stipulated under HB5811 and SB2894 respectively, that virtually made the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law as law “weaker and lesser” than the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao.

Ms Zalika Uko, a woman representative of BANSA who is also a fresh graduate of MSU recently recalled the effect of the long-lingering armed conflict that affects everyone in Mindanao, not only those in the epicenter of conflict but even the peripheral areas like General Santos and the nearby provinces. She said, “we too and the younger generation of the Bangsamoro had been happy and hopeful that the long suffering will end with the crafting of the BBL by the BTC.

Ms Uko stressed that “with the present situation that both Houses of Congress made their own versions of the law, our delights and hope are turned into fears and apprehension.” She recalled that during the failed Memorandum of Agreement on Ancestral Domain (MOA-AD) signing in 2008 caused a widespread armed conflict in many parts of Mindanao. And added “remember that the first escalation point of that armed encounters IN 2008 was in Sarangani province and we did not want this to happen again if Congress fails to pass a law that is acceptable to the Bangsamoro people.”

During the session proper it was agreed that with the above scenario, the regional Officers will issue a statement appealing to members of both Houses of Congress to reconsider their new respective versions of BBL and take cognizant of the gains of the 18 years negotiation that focused on resolving the Bangsamoro’s quest for their right to self-determination.

By: Ebs Sandigan

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