CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY, October 11, 2018 — The passage of the Bangsamoro Organic Law (BOL) is a major victory not only for the Moro people but for the Filipino nation as a whole.

This was declared by Bangsamoro Transition Commission (BTC) Commissioner Maisarah Dandamun-Latiph during the seminar workshop dubbed “Understanding Federalism in the Philippine Context” held October 9 at the VIP Hotel in this city.

“The [BOL] will result in unity and social cohesion,” Latiph said, noting that there are still “a lot of misconceptions” about the Moro people.

She said she is hopeful that through the landmark measure, there will be a better understanding of the Bangsamoro people’s aspirations, particularly their decades-long struggle for self-governance.

Latiph, who was among those who drafted the BOL, said the law is one of the major pillars of the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro (CAB) that was signed in 2014 between the Philippine government and Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF).

She said the CAB is “a comprehensive solution” which, through the BOL, “will be the legal framework that will set the stage” towards realizing the dreams of the Moros.

In order to ensure the successful implementation of the BOL, Latiph re-echoed Presidential Peace Adviser Jesus Dureza’s recommendation to carry out a multi-stakeholder effort that would help capacitate the future leaders of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao or BARMM government.

The BARMM will replace the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) once the BOL is ratified in the plebiscite scheduled on January 21, 2019.

“We need leaders who will do their best and be capacitated,” Latiph said.

She said this capacity-building process was requested by the MILF leadership itself, which recognized the need to equip its members with the necessary skills that would enable them to become effective leaders.

She said the upcoming plebiscite to ratify the BOL is very crucial.

“This (plebiscite) is a recognition of the legitimacy of the [future] BARMM government,” Latiph said. “It is the people [themselves] who will say yes or no to the law.”

Latiph said she is confident that once the BOL is implemented properly, the people will throw their full support behind it.  

“We need a foundation where we can stand on,” she said, referring to the BOL.

Latiph said she anticipates that upon the ratification and full implementation of the law, “the narrative of isolation [of the Bangsamoro people] will come to an end.” ###