Moro execs support peaceful rallies backing peace process PDF Print E-mail
Sunday, 11 May 2014 13:48

Officials are in favor of peaceful rallies as better means of expressing support to the enactment by Congress of the Basic Bangsamoro Law (BBL) and to show how Moro folks seek political solutions to the Moro issue in most proper decorum.

Already, local officials assured not to stand against peaceful rallies — such as those held in many parts of Mindanao on May 5 — to appeal for the prompt enactment by Congress of the Basic Bangsamoro Law (BBL).

Thousands of Moro folks joined in the series of rallies in key Mindanao cities, where speakers took turns calling on Congress to immediately pass the draft BBL into law once submitted by Malacañang for enactment.

However, it was learned from news reports and information fed via text by reporters covering the Office of the President that the draft BBL has not even reached the desk of President Benigno Aquino III, apparently still being studied by Malacañang’s pool of lawyers.

Published reports and newsfeeds from online media websites had also indicated that Malacañang has not submitted to Congress last May 5 the draft BBL for enactment. The President will certify the draft law an urgent bill, as he had promised during his previous pronouncements.

Gov. Esmael Mangudadatu told reporters Tuesday he was saddened by reports purporting that local officials in some areas outside of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao had opposed the conduct of Sunday’s supposedly simultaneous rallies in their turfs.

The rallies were merely intended to show support to the enactment of the draft BBL.

“Peaceful rallies meant to dramatize a common position on anything under the sun, or to air grievances, are far from being bloody and morbid. We will not oppose any peaceful rally in the province in support of the peace process,” Mangudadatu said.

Mangudadatu said encouraging local folks to participate in peaceful rallies that are related to peace-building, and propagation of Muslim-Christian unity, is one way of educating the public on the “backwardness” of using firearms to seek redress.

Mangudadatu said he was fascinated seeing television footage showing how Moro folks behaved calmly as they converged for Sunday’s rallies in different parts of Mindanao and, subsequently, dispersed and returned to their hometowns peacefully, too.

Gov. Mujiv Hataman of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao said he had instructed his executive secretary, Laisa Alamia, and Anwar Malang, who is regional secretary for local government, to let the police secure peaceful rallies in support of the peace process in any part of the autonomous region.

“Mas mabuti ang ganyang mga rallies kaysa gyera. In peaceful rallies we can build consensus together and we can show to the whole nation and the whole world that Moro people adhere to proper decorum and are civilized people. That is one of the reforms we in the ARMM are trying to introduce into the region,” Hataman said in his text message.

Hataman said Islam has extensive teachings on participatory democracy and exhaustion of all peaceful means of resolving community issues and concerns.

“Sa mga ganyang prayer rallies, mas maganda ang mensaheng nai-papaabot natin sa national government at sa international community. Walang nasasaktan at walang evacuations. Mas maganda ang resulta ng ating efforts,” Hataman said.

He said it is not good to curtail freedom of expression, especially if done via peaceful rallies.

“The Constitution assures us of that right,” Hataman said.

The draft BBL had been submitted almost two weeks ago by the Bangsamoro Transition Commission (BTC) to Malacañang for a final review before its turn over to the House of Representatives for enactment. President Benigno Aquino III will certify the draft law as an urgent bill.

The BBL, once enacted and ratified into law through a plebiscite in areas inside the Bangsamoro core territory, will, in effect, replace the ARMM with an MILF-led, more politically and administratively empowered Bangsamoro political entity.

Leaders of the House of Representatives prodded Malacañang on Wednesday to submit the proposed BBL as soon as possible to give lawmakers enough time to study the document.

Majority Leader and Mandaluyong City Rep. Neptali Gonzales II said the chamber should be given ample time to check the document for possible unconstitutional provisions.