Moro people urged to be vigilant, assertive of rights

MANILA -- MalacaAang welcomed the historic ratification of Bangsamoro Organic Law (BOL), which creates the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM), and urged residents to not only support the new region, but also be aware of their rights.

We urge the people in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao to give their new leaders their support and cooperation but at the same time we implore them to be vigilant and assertive of their rights, Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said in a statement.

The Palace official also called on the mandated leaders to be fealty to their oaths of office.

The Commission on Elections (Comelec) announced that more than 1.5 million residents from seven areas in Mindanao voted "yes" to the ratification of the BOL in the plebiscite held last January 21.

The sovereign voice of the participating voters in the just concluded plebiscite has spoken, ushering a ray of hope to that war weary, poverty stricken, long neglected and much heralded promised land of the fifties, Panelo said.

The Bangsamoro Organic Law (BOL) has been officially ratified, it behooves the discordant voices to yield to the rule of the majority, he added.

Panelo said that all stakeholders must cooperate to craft an autonomous government that will be responsive to the needs of the Bangsamoro people within the jurisdiction of BARMM.

Transition

According to Panelo, the BARMM will be in place as soon as the President constitutes the 80-member Bangsamoro Transition Authority that will oversee the interim government of the region.

Panelo said this will take place unless the Supreme Court rules in favor of the present petition questioning the constitutionality of the BOL.

The ruling, however, remains in the realm of imponderables. We cannot be waylaid in the meanwhile in the race to peace and progress, Panelo said.

Panelo said the President hopes that the ratification of the BOL will start the process of correcting the historical injustices committed against the Bangsamoro people.

The quest to lasting peace in that region saw not only the bloody encounters among the Muslim combatants but spawned more conflicts as well, giving birth to more armed groups and violent hostilities to the sufferance of the Bangsamoro people and the Christian inhabitants, Panelo said.

To the credit of the Muslim warriors, they made way to another thrust for the elusive peace as they participated in a democratic process weighing in their collective voice, he added.

Meanwhile, Panelo said that the Palace looks forward to another orderly plebiscite in the in six Lanao del Norte towns and in 67 villages in North on February 6.

'Bright new dawn'

Presidential Peace Adviser Carlito Galvez Jr., for his part, described the ratification of the BOL as justice to the people who took the ultimate sacrifices.

The BOL is an instrument that can help heal the wounds of past injustices. The BOL is our bridge to an enduring peace and sustainable development for the next generations, Galvez said.

A bright new dawn emerges in Mindanao with the ratification of the Bangsamoro Organic Law (BOL). The era of war has finally ended, he added.

Galvez, however, said that there was still much work needed to be done to ensure a smooth transition and the formal establishment of the BARMM.

Echoing Panelo, Galvez also urged stakeholders to work collectively for the success of the new Bangsamoro autonomous government.

This is our chance as a people to unite in writing the peaceful narrative of the Bangsamoro. With joint hearts and minds, we can build a peaceful, just, and progressive Mindanao, Galvez said.

As we progress, I call on everyone to sustain the gains we have achieved in the peace process, he added. (PNA)

Source: Philippines News Agency

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