Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) Governor Mujiv Hataman welcomed the historic approval of the Organic Law for the Bangsamoro by the Bicameral Committee, saying it moves the Bangsamoro people “closer to having a regional government that is reflective of our the times and is responsive to the most urgent needs of the Bangsamoro.”
“(The law) is now a piece of our history — one that speaks of our struggle as we assert our rights as a people, and of the sacrifices we share together with the Filipino people who were unwavering in their belief and commitment to meaningful development, lasting peace and justice for all,” Hataman added.
The governor’s sentiments were shared by various groups and individuals who said the organic law is a big step in achieving peace in Mindanao.
“(The organic law) will usher in genuine autonomy for the attainment of lasting peace and sustainable development in Mindanao and the whole country,” National Ulama Council of the Philippines Secretary-general Alih Aiyub said.
The Bicameral Committee worked to reconcile the Senate and House versions of the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) from July 9 to 18. Its approval came four years after the signing of the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro (CAB), the final peace agreement between the Government of the Philippines and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF).
The organic law is the political track of the CAB and is expected to bring genuine and lasting peace in the Bangsamoro
Now known as the “Organic Law for the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao,” it is expected to be ratified by both houses of Congress on Monday, July 23, and then signed by President Rodrigo Duterte before he gives his State of the Nation Address (SONA) on the same day.
Students from Cotabato City expressed their joy and support after the approval of the organic law.
“Masaya po sa pakiramdam dahil matagal na po itong inaasam ng Bangsamoro dito sa aming lugar (We are happy because the Bangsamoro in our place has been anticipating this for a long time),” said Moazd Guiamal, a student of Cotabato City National High School.
Norhamina Andil, a student of Cotabato City Polytechnic College, called on Mindanaons to support the law. “Sana po, supportahan natin ang pagpirma ng ating Pangulo. Ito ang solusyon sa gulo dito sa Mindanao (I hope we support the signing of this law by the President. This is the solution to the conflict here in Mindanao).”
Reuben Lastimoso, a Christian living in Midsayap, North Cotabato, said he is happy at the progress of the organic law. “Masaya ako na naipapasa na ang BBL para magkaroon na tayo ng kapayapaan dito sa Mindanao (I am glad the BBL has been passed. Now we will have peace here in Mindanao).”
In a statement, the League of Bangsamoro Organizations said the organic law “could help build the trust of our people in fighting for their rights through a democratic and universally accepted solution of conflict instead of prolonging the war as an option.”