MUSLIM House leaders are upbeat that the people in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) will approve the ratification of the Bangsamoro Organic Law (BOL).
Deputy Speaker and Maguindanao Rep. Bai Sandra Sinsuat A. Sema, Anak Mindanao party-list Rep. Amihilda Sangcopan, and Lanao del Sur Rep. Mauyag Papandayan Jr. also said there is funding for the plebiscite as state forces, the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) and the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) have joined forces to ensure the honest and peaceful holding of the historic political exercise.
They also thanked President Rodrigo “Rody” Duterte for his legacy on the BOL.
“We are not only positive, optimistic, we are also very happy that the BOL is being welcomed and embrace by our people on the ground,” Sema, a BOL champion, told reporters in a press conference.
“Our Army and our PNP (Philippine National Police) are on top of the situation, considering that the MNLF and the MILF are also part of those securing the areas, we have here a combined efforts of the state forces and the MILF.”
Sangcopan expressed confidence that the prospect of lasting peace in Mindanao will be attained with the Commission on Elections’ (Comelec) readiness to hold the plebiscite using their savings after House Majority Leader and Camarines Sur Rep. Rolando “Nonoy” Andaya Jr. bared there was no funding for it under the proposed 2019 P3.757-trillion national budget.
“We respect the concern of the leadership of the House on the budget of the Bangsamoro. If we look back during the last budget deliberations of the Comelec, (Anak Mindanao) Rep. Makmod Mending asked the same question, is there a budget for the conduct of the plebiscite? Somehow the Comelec responded if my memory serves me right that they can tap their savings,” said Sangcopan.
At the same time, Sema said Muslims, Christians, Lumads, and people from other faiths will be holding a prayer rally for peace and unity this Friday, in Cotabato City to pray for peace, harmony, and the success of the ratification of the BOL.
Sema filed House Resolution (HR) No. 2404 declaring January 18, 2019 as “a Day of Prayer to pray for peace in the Bangsamoro Homeland as the voters prepare to ratify Republic Act 11054 or the Organic Law for the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao.”
On the same day, different cause-oriented groups in Cotabato City will walk from Sinsuat Avenue to the oval ground of the Cotabato City State Polytechnic College where the grand rally for the BOL, expected to be the biggest inter-faith rally in the region, will be held.
“We ask all qualified voters to participate in the plebiscite on January 21 and February 6 and be part of this historic event that will unify all people in the Bangsamoro Homeland. The Organic Law guarantees, among other things, the right of the Bangsamoro people to practice their religion and conform to their way of life even as the corresponding rights of other Filipinos within the Bangsamoro Homeland are preserved and protected,” Sema said.
According to Sema, the new law will correct the historical injustice done to the Bangsamoro.
“Armed struggle will be put to rest and a new order will be in place where the champion of the Bangsamoro cause will sit and hold the reins of their government and guide a people so united, so dedicated, and awaiting an opportunity to be a strong partner of the Republic of the Philippines to achieve economic prosperity for all,” she added.
Sema also asserted that it is high time for peace and prosperity to rule over the Bangsamoro Region.
“Kami po ang nasa grounds, kami po ang nakaranas ng pagiging bakwit, kami po ang ayaw na ayaw ng gyera, kaya ganito po kami ka-emosyonal sa isyu na ito. We don’t want our children to suffer what we suffered. It must end here and now. The President is the one who really pushed this. He is the true champion of the BOL,” she added.