MARANAO GROUPS APPEAL FOR A UNITED FORCE FOR LOBBYING THE BBL IN CONGRESS, AND AMONG THE LOCAL COMMUNITIES
- Enpold Bangsamoro
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The activity was conducted by the EnPolD Bangsamoro project led by the Institute of Bangsamoro Studies (IBS) as implementing partner of the Institute for Autonomy and Governance (IAG).
Firstly, the Maranao participants recalled the Mamasapano incident of 2015 that derailed the first legislative passage of the first proposed BBL. They pointed to the Marawi Siege as the counterpart of Mamasapano incident that could possibly derail the passage of the second BBL drafted by the present expanded Bangsamoro Transition Commission.
Nonetheless, the group sees Marawi Siege as both an opportunity for Congress to push for the passage of BBL or a reason for the major delay of its enactment. Many are apprehensive that the failure to pass it into law will result to the fragmentation of the MILF into 2 or more fronts or factions leading to yet another episode of armed struggle.
Secondly, the participants were unanimous in their opinion that the lack of information among Maranao communities about the content of the BBL and technicalities involved in its legislative transit, would eventually weaken the Maranao belief and support to the peace process. They strongly endorsed that information campaign, particularly in Bangsamoro provinces, be undertaken in earnest.
The voices supporting the simultaneous campaign for the BBL and Federalism remained very strong and insistent. They expressed the fundamental importance of entrenching the proposed BBL as the template for a federal government. Accordingly, it should not be the other way around – federalism first – just as the Duterte Administration plans to shift from the unitary governmental setup towards a federal arrangement.
Nonetheless, the group agreed to maximize their effort in supporting the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law through an inclusive dialogue program. They want to act on the need for greater and aggressive communication and information dissemination about the content of the BBL, as well as its current status in Congress. They want to seize the issue as opportunity for uniting the Bangsamoro people in “protecting” the BBL during its perilous legislative transit towards the much-anticipated final enactment into law for the Bangsamoro.