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The Non-Passgae of BBL: Lose of golden opportunities and a proof of disregard to the rights of the Bangsamoro

Posted on 10 February 2016 by cbcs_mike

The CBCS and its allied organizations including other groups who believed and worked hard for an acceptable basic law had been disheartened by the non-passage of the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) at this point in time when our country is being challenged by many social problems. We are convinced that the passage of the agreed version of the BBL could have paved the way for lasting peace in the Bangsamoro. For us, the failure of the Congress to pass the BBL into law on one hand is a lost golden opportunity to finally solve the Bangsamoro question. It is a lost opportunity to resolve the long standing grievances of the Bangsamoro for self-determination within the national sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Philippine state. It would have been a law that will address the historical injustices committed against the Bangsamoro.

If violence erupts due to frustration, the Bangsamoro again will surface as a problem rather than part of the solution to the Mindanao conflict. The non-passage of the BBL also reduces the chance for national unity and reconciliation towards conflict transformation. It prevents a strong potential alliance between the national government and the Bangsamoro in fighting against high rising criminalities and radicalism.

With the unfulfilled agreement, the credibility and relevance of peace talks as mother of all peace processes has diminished. We lost the opportunity to influence other armed groups to stop use of violence but take the side of peace talks. We lost the chance to prove that the Bangsamoro peace process can be a model to other countries with intrastate conflicts. In short, we lost the opportunity to cut short the violence and bring soonest peace in Mindanao.

A proof of disrespect

On the other hand, the non-passage of the BBL is a proof that as a nation, we are not yet ready to live peacefully in diversity and that we still adhere to pushing for one monolithic Filipino identity. It is an indication that the majority Filipinos’ chauvinism represented by their leaders in congress are not yet ready to respect our rights as minority and our inherent right to self-determination as people whose existence preceded the birth of what is now the Filipino nation.

The way the members of the Congress reacted to the BBL is also a proof of their high level prejudices and distrust against the Bangsamoro. In short, our national leaders are not yet ready to correct the historical injustices committed against the Bangsamoro.

As Moro-led CSOs (civil society organizations) we will continue to uphold peaceful means to resolve the fundamental question of the Bangsamoro even in times of uncertainties. We shall never get exhausted of exploring peaceful possibilities even the most unconventional way. “No use of crying over spilled milk” as the saying goes. This is not the first time ever that Philippine governments failed to implement agreements. It started from colonial periods up to the present Philippine republic. The Bangsamoro must learn their lessons. The worst and unforgivable sin is to be bitten by (the same) snake in the same hole for more than twice. However, this would not stop the Bangsamoro from continuing their assertion for their inalienable right to self-determination and as a distinct nation through preserving gains of the 18-year negotiation or exploring various options available.

CBCS Central Secretariat
Ref# (064) 421-1686

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