Continue fighting for our right to self-determination, say dissatisfied Moros on Bangsamoro Basic Law


By Joey Natividad

CITY OF NAGA, Bicol Region – Militant Moro groups express dissatisfaction on the recently-passed Bangsamoro Basic Law.

Suara Bangsamoro, in a statement, made public its disgust over the law: “This newly-passed BBL does not inspire hope in our hearts that we of the Bangsamoro will receive justice to set right all the injustices committed against our people. There can be no trust where justice is not an option. We cannot simply forget the price of lives and blood we have paid simply to exist as Moros in a land where we are seen as an inconvenience and a problem.”

“We seek true autonomy, not the sham we are being offered now, with a mangled and watered-down ghost of the Bangsamoro Basic Law, which President Duterte initially did not want to certify as urgent, after all, the House and Senate versions of this law that was passed at the 11th hour on third and final reading were so disparate,” Suara Bangsamoro on Sunday informed BicolToday in Naga City.

The Moro group explained: “Duterte’s last-minute turnaround to certify the BBL as an urgent measure does not inspire our trust. Not especially when his BBL sweeps aside our claims for justice for the victims of the Marawi Siege and Martial Law, the recent massacre of the nine MILF combatants and myriad other human rights violations resulting from the continuing operations of the United States-led “war on terror” within Bangsamoro territory. Refer to the Bangsamoro narrative and it is there, plain as day, just how much betrayal of trust we have had to bear. We in Suara Bangsamoro are wary that this kind of BBL just glossed over the justice we Moros deserve.”

According to them, the oppression of the people of the Bangsamoro continues, and this badly-done BBL is proof positive of that. Not recognizing the right to self-determination and to decide on our fate within Bangsamoro territory shows just how little trust and faith the government has in us.

“The BBL version passed by Congress is not going to answer the Moro problem. This milquetoast that they are passing off as BBL leaves the Bangsamoro with no control over the resources of the area they define as our autonomous area. Just like in the ARMM, this BBL appoints the new Bangsamoro political entity to facilitate the wholesale selling of our territories and natural resources to foreign corporations under the guise of bringing growth and development to Bangsamoro areas,” Suara Bangsamoro lamented.

“For there to be peace, there must be justice. There must be goodwill and the trust that grows from that. You ask us to lay down our arms and work with you. Then you must do the same with us. Any less than a BBL that grants us justice and the autonomy to determine our path within this nation is the insult added to the many injuries we have already had to bear,” the group said.

The group vowed: “We will forever continue to be vigilant in our fight for justice, right to self-determination and genuine autonomy for the Bangsamoro. We call on all peace-loving people especially our brother and sister Moros to continue working for self-determination, and fight for the justice we need and the peace that we work and pray for daily.

As the government continues to disregard Moro people’s struggle for the right to self-determination, it is in the hands of Moro people to continue to fight for the genuine right to self-determination. the group swore. []


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