By Bonita Ermac
MARAWI CITY — About 18,000 Bangsamoro people staged a peace rally on Wednesday to appeal for the restoration of the deleted or amended provisions in the Bangsamoro Basic Law which had been earlier agreed upon by the Bangsamoro Transition Committee (BTC).
Civil society organizations and other stakeholders in Lanao del Sur and this city came out to petition the members of the Bicameral Conference Committee of Congress to reconsider the singular wisdom in building a strong autonomy for the Bangsamoro as the only effective and feasible course towards achieving real peace.
“Ang ipinaglalaban namin ay bumalik sa dati iyong talagang CAB-compliant na BBL; iyon bang walang binawas (What we are fighting for is the return of the real Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro-compliant BBL; the one with no deletions),” said Dr. Dalomabi Lao Bula, a retired faculty member of Mindanao State University-Marawi.
The group highlighted six items of appeal that applies to the peculiar interests of the Maranao as follows:
1. To make sure the final version is CAB-compliant to avoid the creation of breakaway groups that would capitalize on the non-implementation of CAB which was the jointly approved framework for the BBL and which should be the ground of resolving issues regarding the BBL unless any issue at hand is clearly against the constitution of the Philippines;
2. To resolve the BBL original version on inland waters, such that it must be within the exclusive power of the Bangsamoro;
3. To restore the original provisions of HB 6475 on the power of the Bangsamoro government to regulate the power generation, transmission and distribution operating exclusively in the Bangsamoro and not connected to the national transmission grid;
4. To restore the original provision of HB 6475 on the share of Bangsamoro government in the national taxes collected in the Bangsamoro and its retention of the 25% share of national government within the period of ten years; and
5. To restore the original version of HB 6475 on the Periodic Plebiscite.
They also said that in the event that it is impossible to restore the original provision of the HB 6475 on the core territory of Bangsamoro, they want to adopt the version of the Senate on the provision of the core territory particularly on the six municipalities of Lanao del Norte so it would no longer require the consent of the whole province.