Bangsamoro basic law: Forgotten battle?
Something is palpable in the air right now, something threatening. And it's this: Before we know it, no one is talking about the Moro people and the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) anymore but us alone.
Is the BBL dead? Is it over?
We talk about this as our hearts bleed over yet another tragedy of our time. (READ: Aquino says BBL bid to continue after his term)
And if indeed it is over, then it is a tragedy courtesy of the powerful men and women, them politicians, whose eyes continue to swell with suspicion and whose hearts overflow with hatred. (READ: 4 scenarios if Bangsamoro bill is not passed)
How heartbreaking it is to watch our dear lawmakers forget about Mindanao and the Moro people. (READ: Failure to pass BBL a 'slap in the face' – UK House of Lords member)
How many of us are disgusted at the utter disregard of the Moro struggle and the clamor for an end to our decades-old oppression?
The failure to pass the BBL speaks volumes of the low regard of the Moro struggle and sacrifices by our lawmakers. (READ: Senators on Bangsamoro basic law: Where do they stand?)
I heard someone say that the fate of the BBL at the hands of our lawmakers was like watching drunkards piss on the memory of the martyrs of the revolution and everything that the revolution represented. Such disrespect.
The beast that devoured it
But with the elections coming, expect to hear different narratives that fit the time. The soundbites and TV frames will no longer be dedicated to BBL. Soon, ours might just be a forgotten battle or a dead revolution.
Perhaps our stories will only be remembered every 25th day of January, the day when the whole country stops in a mixture of rage and silence to recall the operation of a team of special police operatives in the now popular town of Mamasapano in Maguindanao. (WATCH: Rappler Talk: The Marwan manhunt and its impact on the peace process)
Right now, we hear these stories: about Mamasapano being the beast that devoured all the possibilities for a Bangsamoro Basic Law. Most likely, history books will be as ignorant, if not more cruel.
But these are stored in the collective memory of the Moro people, leaving an imprint that will last for generations. This is the kind of memory that will haunt even the most merciless of oppressors.
But we still hope. There is still hope – no matter how weak it is.
Peace remains possible. We have proven this when all the guns continued to remain silent despite the failure to pass the BBL on time – as promised.
That peace remains possible, and the only option to solving the Mindanao problem is proven by the continued aggressiveness of peace actors who remain true and committed to protect the peace process and everything that it has achieved over the years.
The same peace actors refused to kneel down to the devastating news of a failed BBL.
In fact, peace was set on the table when peace actors met in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, very recently to review the peace agreement between the government of the Philippines and the Moro National Liberation Front.
At the meeting, peace and reconciliation were the main dish. The meeting was a feast and the star was peace in Mindanao.
Despite the failure to pass BBL, we find comfort in our collective determination to overcome even the toughest and most dreadful of adversities.
We are comforted by our undying aspiration for peace and justice in a troubled land.
And we continue to bathe in our belief that the Bangsamoro is probably the Moro people's last chance to seeing a rainbow, a rainbow of hope bursting with possibilities – despite our tragedy. – Rappler.com
Amir Mawallil is the executive director of the Bureau of Public Information of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao.