Post-Mamasapano, sentiments on peace agreements clash – SWS
MANILA, Philippines – In the aftermath of the January 25 Mamasapano incident, sentiments throughout the Bangsamoro Core Territory on peace agreements remain “hopeful,” the results of the latest Social Weather Stations (SWS) survey showed.
The SWS released its March 2015 National Survey and February 2015 Survey in the Bangsamoro Core Territory on Friday, May 15.
“Attitudes toward the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) were positive throughout the Core Territory,” SWS reported.
The Core Territory includes Sulu, Basilan, Isabela City, Tawi-Tawi, Maguindanao, Cotabato City, Lanao del Sur, Lanao del Norte near the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM), and Cotabato near ARMM.
Sulu and Isabela City expressed the least approval of the BBL at 31% and 38%, while Cotabato near ARMM and Lanao del Sur gave the most positive response at 93% and 90%.
Malacañang said the survey results indicate the optimism of the very people who will be directly affected by the proposed law.
"It’s a good indicator that those who belong in the proposed core areas are more hopeful than the rest of the nation," said Deputy Presidential Spokesperson Abigail Valte on Saturday, May 16, in a interview with the state-run Radyo ng Bayan.
Valte added, "I think that can be explained by the fact that they are on the ground, that is their situation, and they see how peace can benefit them."
In contrast to residents in the Core Territory, "people in the Philippines as a whole are not hopeful that the proposed new Bangsamoro government will bring peace and development to the area," the survey results showed.
Nationwide approval of the BBL is at 23% while disapproval is at 48%. In the SWS survey conducted on public sentiment on the Framework Agreement on the Bangsamoro (FAB) in July 2014, national approval for the pact was at 44%.
|Percentage of approval of proposed BBL
Philippines (Mar 2015) and Bangsamoro Core Areas (Feb 2015)
|Lanao del Sur||90||6||4|
|Lanao del Norte
Opinions on whether people would "benefit from the peace talks" were also on opposite ends on the national and Core Territory levels.
More than half or 56% of Filipinos believed they would receive "little to no benefit" from the peace talks with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), while 42% said there would be "some to much benefit."
But among the Core Territory, opinions ranged from "somewhat positive to overwhelmingly positive."
Valte said the government would continue its effort to explain the BBL "to the rest of the country."
"Efforts to consult with stakeholders will continue, primarily led by the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process, the peace panel, the peace advocates, and the stakeholders that have come on board to support the BBL," she said.
Pass into law?
Despite the delays in passing the BBL due to the Mamasapano controversy and the congressional deliberations, the survey results showed that residents in the Core Territory were "still hopeful that Congress could pass the law."
Sulu residents were "somewhat not hopeful," however, while Cotabato near ARMM and Lanao del Sur showed the most hope.
The SWS said that a "generally favorable attitude towards the peace agreements prevailed until after the January 25 incident in Mamasapano," based on the results of surveys conducted from December 2012 to March 2015.
This is despite the results of the First Quarter 2015 survey which found that Filipinos' self-rated] knowledge of the FAB and the BBL were "insufficient and merely stable" two and a half years since the FAB's signing.
In March 2015, attitudes towards the proposed BBL were on "balance negative" throughout the country.
Extent of knowledge on the FAB, Annexes, and BBL
Philippines (Dec 2012 - Mar 2015)
|Extensive to Partial but sufficient||Only a little to almost none|
The survey results also showed that lot of Filipinos feel they do not have extensive knowledge of documents related to the Bangsamoro peace process. – Rappler.com