By Nonoy Lacson
ZAMBOANGA CITY – President Rodrigo Duterte vowed to “work very hard” to address historical injustices committed against the Moro people as well as the swift passage of the Bangsamoro Basic Law or BBL.
The President made the remarks Monday, November 27, while in Simuay, Sultan Kudarat in Maguindanao for the two-day Bangsamoro Assembly that started Sunday.
“I plead to all Filipinos listening now to understand the problem,” he said in reference to the centuries-old Bangsamoro struggle.
The event, organized by the Bangsamoro Transition Commission (BTC) and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), was attended by thousands of people from Mindanao including high-ranking officials from the government, non-governmental organizations, indigenous peoples (IPs), religious leaders, and representatives from other groups such as the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF).
The assembly was aimed at drumming up support for the Bangsamoro Basic Law’s (BBL) immediate enactment.
Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) Governor Mujiv Hataman said he is one with the Bangsamoro people as he expressed his full support for the BBL.
Several officials and sectoral leaders also delivered their messages of support for BBL including 1st district of Maguindanao and Cotabato City Representative Bai Sandra Sema; Tawi-Tawi Representative Ruby Sahali; Maguindanao Governor Esmael Mangudadatu; MNLF chairman Yusoph Jikiri; Cardinal Orlando Quevedo, OMI DD; Bishop Noel Pantoja of the Philippine Council of Evangelical Churches; BTC Commissioner Timuay Melanio Ulama for the IPs; Datu Midpantao Midtimbang; and Aleem Ali Solaiman.
Murad Ibrahim, MILF chairman, said his group must now transition into a social movement.
“From fortification of camps with arms, we venture into the development of our communities with new sets of learned skills and prepare the leadership from a revolutionary mindset into transformative leaders and managers,” Ibrahim said.
He added that the MILF will continuously push for the enactment of the BBL “because we are convinced of the justness and legitimacy of the Bangsamoro cause.”
Ghadzali Jaafar, first vice-chairman of MILF, read the Bangsamoro Assembly’s. Manifesto and also appealed to the President to expedite the passage of the BBL.
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