Monday, 28 July 2014 13:18


There has been a lot of noise surrounding the reasons why the Bangsamoro Basic Law or the BBL has not been presented and discussed in public. The CSO, NGOs, academe, advocates and other sectors are feeling a little apprehensive that this round of talks, “workshops” as what they call it in threshing out the BBL in Malaysia, and the meeting prior to the SONA of Pnoy may signal stalemate in the peace process. Truly, indeed the honeymoon phase is over and now we wait… For what exactly?  Are we waiting for this peace process to push forward or are we waiting for the worse scenario — the possibility that the BBL will be rejected?
The Bangsamoro People (IP, Moros and the settlers) breathes the narrative of the historical injustices of the past. They are too familiar with the sounds, sights, tastes and pain of war. In their hearts they do not want another series of conflicts. They know that in war, lives will be lost, the future is uncertain for those who will survive the aftermath of a conflict, the trauma they have to endure, and the cycle of violence between the perpetrators and the survivors. We remember the many conversations we have been privileged to have with some babuhs and timuays. Babuh Mardiyah (not her real name) narrated her story as one of the combatants in those early years of struggle. She vividly recalls the pain of not being able to attend the 4 burials of her family for fear of being caught by the military.  A story of a mother who lost her only child while in the jungle because of the military operations in their place to escape from the exchange of fires between the rebels and the government forces. She wished that she too did not survive that tragic day she lost her only child. The dispossession of their lands that they have toiled from generation to generation of pure hard work, blood and sweat to protecting their identity and traditional system of beliefs and practices. There are so many narratives of the Bangsamoro People that we have to understand so we can appreciate what they have been fighting for-the right to self-determination.
Having said that, the BBL may not be given much emphasis during the SONA of PNoy today. How can he if the Bangsamoro People do not know the contents of the BBL.  Everyone was hopeful that today will bear another significant mark in the history of the Bangsamoro-  the voice, the aspiration of the Bangsamoro people is one step closer to finding durable solutions to end the violence.  Never mind if the BBL will be delayed for few weeks, never mind if the BBL has to be discussed by those who may oppose it and those who strongly pushes for it.  Never mind…. never mind… BUT the Bangsamoro People will wait, will plan, will remain hopeful, and will strongly push for the kind of reform they know that is culturally sensitive and acceptable to them.  “They plot and plan, and Allah too plans; but the best of planners is Allah.” (Qur’an 8:30)