‘Political solution’ urged to end Bangsamoro struggle

Written by Antonio Colina IV, Manila Bulletin.

The national government (GPH) must deliver a “political solution” to end the Bangsamoro armed struggle by fully implementing the 2014 Comprehensive Agreement on Bangsamoro (CAB) through the passage of an acceptable enabling law, said the new Bangsamoro Transition Commission (BTC) chair Ghazali Jaafar.

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“This is a political problem and it can only satisfy the Bangsamoro people pagna-deliver ang political solution,” Jaafar, who is also first vice chair of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), said on Wednesday (March 29) at the a hotel in Davao.


Ghazali Jaafar

He said that he appreciates the efforts of the government in trying to solve the issues through economic means to trigger development in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) but he added that what the Bangsamoro people seek are self-determination and their own Bangsamoro government.

“Yung tulong, maraming salamat. But believe me, ako hindi ko pa nakita ang nabigyan ng gobyerno ng tractor,” he said.

He said they do not wish to have the billion-peso bridge and road construction and agriculture projects in Mindanao, saying that their ancestors had survived on their own with their agricultural produce.

“Sapagka’t kung ma-implement ang BBL, may goberyno ang mga Muslim. I can assure you we can take care of ourselves,” he said.

The 21-member BTC will need to come out with a draft of the enabling law before the May 18 deadline agreed upon by both panels that will be declared as “urgent” by President Duterte expectedly in his second State of the Nation Address (SONA) on July 24.

Jaafar urged the lawmakers to pass the enabling law for the full implementation of the CAB.

“What is important meron tayong batas because unless a BBL is passed into law by the Congress, we cannot implement the CAB and therefore, no solution to our (Bangsamoro) government. And therefore, status of the Bangsamoro remains as it is now,” he said.

Mohagher Iqbal, MILF peace implementing panel chair, said “the real issue is how to give self-governance to the Moro people within the context of Philippine sovereignty.”

He said that the 2014 CAB is more attuned to the experience of the Moro people as compared with the 1996 Final Peace Agreement between GPH and Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) founding chair Nur Misuari, as the former, Iqbal said, will pave the way for a “ministerial government” replacing the ARMM which he described as “unitary in character.”

He said that they are hoping Congress will pass into law the BTC’s proposed draft of the enabling law to implement CAB, which is a negotiated settlement between GPH and MILF to put an end to four decades of armed conflict.

“On top of that, we are confident under the leadership of our friend (President Duterte), we have to bring back peace in our homeland because we believe that there is still hope for a better tomorrow. Let’s unite and together we will make it in order to realize a better tomorrow,” he said.

“I would say that there is frustration in every man, but hope is also being rekindled in the face of still so many things waiting to be realized, waiting for implementation. Hope is one thing we cannot afford to lose,” he said.

Source: Manila Bulletin

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