‘Let Muslims govern Bangsamoro region’
Stakeholders of the BOL (Bangsamoro Organic Law) should be guided by Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle, who urged Filipinos “to foster peace and solidarity among themselves by working toward the eradication of a mentality that promotes disputes among people, and regarding others as one’s own brothers and sisters.”
We cannot disregard the figures of 120,000 Filipinos who shed blood in war-torn Mindanao for more than four decades. Let us put a period “sa ating mga kabaliwan.”
If we will perceive Muslim Filipinos as our enemies, not as brothers and sisters, we will never attain the path of peace. The BOL should be approved on Jan. 21, 2019, via plebiscite by Filipino Muslims in Tawi-Tawi, Sulu, Basilan, Maguindanao and Lanao del Sur; six municipalities in Lanao del Norte and 39 barangays in Cotabato, so that they shall govern independently the Bangsamoro region, acquiring freedom from Imperial Manila and hoping to progress from “bondage to bounty.”
The pros and cons are working doubly hard to promote their interests. The more than 200,000 members of YES to Bangsamoro in Cotabato City alone are actively campaigning for the law’s final approval from the Filipino Muslims. This organization is also advocating that, upon the law’s approval, Islamic countries, banks and institutions—not China—should be given priority to invest or explore natural resources like oil and gas in the Bangsamoro region. After all, both parties have common denominators (religion, traditions, belief, education, laws, historical background and aspirations).
The BOL’s approval and successful implementation will be a template for federalism, which most Filipinos are skeptical about as shown in the Social Weather Stations and Pulse Asia surveys.
Let our Muslim brothers and sisters govern the Bangsamoro region, no one else.
ISIDRO C. VALENCIA, Taguig City, [email protected]
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