By Antonio Colina IV
COTABATO CITY – The ratification of the Organic Law for the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (OLBARMM) in a plebiscite on January 21, 2019 will heal the political and historical wounds of the Bangsamoro people.
Prof. Raby B. Angkal, chief of staff of the Office of the Chairman of the Bangsamoro Transition Commission (BTC), said when it gets ratified, OLBARMM will eventually stop the suffering of the Bangsamoro people because it will establish just and dignified peace.
The OLBARMM, a negotiated political settlement, will implement the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro (CAB) signed by the government (GPH) with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) in 2014.
On July 27, President Rodrigo R. Duterte signed into law OLBARRM, previously referred to as the Bangsamoro Basic Law, an enabling law of the CAB, which would pave the way for the creation of a new political entity that would replace the ARMM.
“The implementation of BOL, that will implement the CAB, is justice to the Bangsamoro people. The call of our leaders President Duterte, chairman of MILF central committee, chairman of BTC — are calling on people in the core territory and even to the Filipino people to come to peace, justice, security,” he said.
Angkal said before the Bangsamoro homeland was colonized, what was then an independent state of the Moro people was better off in “socio-economic and political status than it is today.”
“The Bangsamoro struggle — why it seems to be unending because this was started way back more than 400 years ago today. The reason being Moros were previously a separate nation at the time,” he said.
He said there was unity among the Moros before the Spanish colonizers came and before the colonial annexation of the Bangsamoro homeland, covering Mindanao, Sulu, and Palawan (MINSUPALA), to the Philippines government.
The economic condition and social status of Bangsamoro people deteriorated after being colonized, Angkal said.
The causes of historical injustices against the Bangsamoro people were December 10, 1898 Spanish-American Treaty that sold the Philippines to Americans for $20 million; annexation of the Bangsamoro ancestral domain to the Philippine territory when Americans granted Philippine independence on July 4, 1946; marginalization through land dispossession with various land settlement laws that legalized land grabbing in Mindanao; and a series of killings and massacres, he said.