COTABATO CITY, August 7 – The respective chairs of the implementing panels of the Philippine government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) will present the Organic Law for the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (OLBARMM or Bangsamoro Organic Law) to the Moro people and other stakeholders in Mindanao in a symbolic celebration here tomorrow, August 8, 2018.
Nabil Tan, Deputy Presidential Peace Adviser and Chair of the Government Implementing Panel for the GPH-MILF peace accord, and MILF Implementing Panel Chair Mohagher Iqbal will lead the ceremony at the Shariff Kabunsuan Cultural Complex inside the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao’s (ARMM) Office of the Regional Governor Compound.
President Rodrigo Roa Duterte had presented the Bangsamoro Organic Law (BOL) to the leadership of the Moro fronts in Malacañang on Monday. The ceremonial event signified the commitment of the government to the Bangsamoro peace process.
Expected to be present in today’s event are Presidential Peace Adviser Jesus G. Dureza, the leadership and members of the MILF and the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF), top officials of the Autonomous Region In Muslim Mindanao, lawmakers, leaders of civil society groups, and representatives of all sectors in the region.
The BOL is a product of a series of peace agreements between the Philippine Government and various Moro fronts. While it is largely anchored on the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro – a peace deal between the Philippine Government and the MILF – the new law for the Bangsamoro reflects and builds upon the gains of previous Moro peace agreements since the 1970s.
The BOL recognizes the aspirations and articulations of the Moros in the past peace agreements as well as those expressed during the series of public consultations.
The law provides exercise of meaningful autonomy for the Moro people by charting their own political future through a democratic process. This is an improvement of the ARMM law as it retains and recognizes the historical and geographical identity of the Bangsamoro people and allows the other inhabitants in the area the freedom of choice to retain their distinct and indigenous identity.
“We got the support of almost all sectors, especially support coming from the President, kaya I always say that we have reached a milestone. But remember, we still have a lot of challenges to work on. The job will not be easy but if everybody will stay the course then maybe we can reach yung ultimate dream natin – sustainable peace,” Dureza said.
For his part, USec Tan said the signing of the BOL “is a significant contribution to peace. This will hopefully usher in the dawn of progress in Muslim Mindanao.”
In his speech last Monday, President Duterte said he hoped the BOL would “serve as the final trajectory for the attainment of genuine peace, stability, and good governance in Muslim Mindanao.”
“I ask my Moro brothers and sisters as well as the indigenous communities, and settlers living within the Bangsamoro area to actively participate constructively about the law in your homes, in your villages, and communities. But more importantly I encourage to take part in the upcoming plebiscite so that you may express your sovereign will through the ballot,” he added.
President Duterte acknowledged the people who rallied for the enactment of the law.
“Let me also express my gratitude to the members of the Bangsamoro Transition Commission, the Moro Islamic Liberation Front, and the Moro National Liberation Front for their unwavering commitment, determination, and perseverance in pursuing the passage of the Bangsamoro Organic Law,” he said. ###
Photos by: Presidential Photographers Division