By Hanah Tabios
Members of the Moro communities in Quiapo, Manila who have opted to stay in the city capital during the holding of the plebiscite for the ratification of the Bangsamoro Organic Law (BOL) said they would vote “Yes” as they aspire for a new Bangsamoro government that is pro-poor and pro-people.
Hassim Habdul Rauf, 40, a native of Marawi City in Lanao del Sur, Rauf said he was unable to cast his vote as he is set to leave the country for a four-month Islam congregation in Bangladesh. But if given the chance, he would give the BOL referendum a big yes.
“Para mabawasan ang mga gumagawa ng kalokohan dahil sa BOL, sa Muslim man o Christian, kung ‘yon ay ikabubuti ng bawat isang tao (To lessen criminal activities, may it be on the Muslim or Christian side, if that’s for the betterment of everyone),” said Rauf.
As one of the individuals who fled during the Marawi bloodbath, Rauf has high hopes that the establishment of a new Bangsamoro government can help them address issues on the rehabilitation of the city’s ground zero in particular.
“Mga hindi pa yata aabot ng 20 percent [ang rehabilitation] (I think [the rehabilitation] is not yet more than 20 percent),” said Rauf when asked about the status of the government’s rehabilitation efforts in Marawi City, Lanao del Sur.
The same sentiment was echoed by his childhood friend Abduljalil Mustapha, a Maranao, who was also unable to fly back to Mindanao due to financial constraints.
“Yes, kung may mga pangangailangan, kung may nais kami or about sa mga Moro or Muslim ay mabilis na maidudulog sa government [kung maratipika ang BOL] (Yes, if we have needs, we can easily communicate them to the government if ever BOL will be ratified),” said Mustapha.
“Mimi,” (not her real name) also wants to vote “yes” for BOL. A member of a political clan in Lanao del Sur, she failed to vote in the plebiscite due to the funeral of her uncle in Manila.
“Tulungan din po yung mga kagaya naming mahihirap na single parents at yung mga bata sa amin na walang pampaaral, tulungan po nila (I hope they can help poor people like us, single parents and the children whose family cannot afford to send them to school),” she said.