Muslim coalition: Binay can bring 'true peace' to Mindanao
MANILA, Philippines – Believing that the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) is already an "impossible dream" under the Aquino administration, a coalition of more than 40 Muslim groups declared on Monday, February 1, their support for the presidential bid of Vice President Jejomar Binay.
According to One Bangsamoro Movement (1BANGSA) convenor Maulana Balangi, Binay is the "only presidential candidate who can fulfill the wish" of the people of Muslim Mindanao. (READ: Binay in Mindanao: I will make you rich, like Makati)
"Si Binay ang makakapagbigay ng tunay na kapayapaan sa Mindanao," Balangi said during a press conference in Quezon City. "Hindi siya nakitaan ng pagkamuhi sa mga Muslim."
(Binay is the only one who can bring true peace to Mindanao. There are no signs that he loathes Muslims.)
In March 2015, the Vice President had said that the BBL is not the only option for peace. Months later, he backed the alternative bill proposed by Senator Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr – the Basic Law for the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region (BLBAR) – a measure contested by many Muslim groups, including 1BANGSA.
The coalition, however, said that talks can be held with Binay to fully realize the Bangsamoro dream.
"Ang gusto na BBL ni Binay ay inclusive," Balangi explained. "Pwede kami mag-lobby sa kanya ukol dito."
(Binay wants an inclusive BBL. We can lobby for what we want in relation to this law.)
Betrayal of the administration
Lanao del Sur 2nd District Representative Pangalian Balindong on January 27 said that the Congress "wasted time" as he "closed the book of hope” for the controversial bill. The 16th Congress will be on break starting February 6 for the campaign season.
President Benigno Aquino III, for his part, has said he wants efforts for the BBL's passage to continue beyond his term.
Balangi said the least Aquino could have done was to signify the bill as urgent, especially considering that the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro (CAB) was signed back in 2014.
"Itinuturing na betrayal kasi may mga agreement na nalagdaan at hindi isinunod," he said. "Pero kung titignan mo, iyong tatlong linggo ay pwede pa kung gugustuhin ng pangulo at kung mamanduhin niya."
(We consider it as a betrayal since there are agreements that weren’t followed. But if you look at it, the 3 weeks left when Congress resumes sessions are enough if the President orders lawmakers to approve the BBL.)
As the future of the Bangsamoro remains bleak for now, stakeholders can only wait and hope for the best.
"Kami ay nalulungkot sa hindi pagsasabatas ng BBL dahil sa tingin namin ay ito ang konkretong solusyon sa matagal na kaguluhan sa aming bayan," Sultan Ganal Mawa of the Sultanate of Marawi said. "Ano pa ang aasahan natin na magbibigay ng tunay na daan para sa kapayapaan?"
(We are deeply saddened by the failure to pass the BBL because we believe that it is the concrete solution to the decades-long conflict in our land. What else can we depend on to give us the real path towards peace?)
Vote for pro-Muslims, pro-Bangsamoro
Leaders of various Muslim sectors are also urging voters to choose wisely when they head to the polls in May.
"Huwag tayo magpalinlang sa matatamis na salita at pangako sa eleksyon," Bae Saripah Omar of the Bangsamoro Women’s Association said. "Ibigay natin ang ating boto lamang sa tingin natin ay para sa ating bayan, para sa BBL."
(Let us not be swayed by sweet words and promises. Let us only give our votes to those we think are for us and for the BBL.)
A "solid Muslim vote" will elect people who have the best interests of the Bangsamoro in mind, and this is not impossible, according to Balangi. He noted that 1BANGSA was the proponent of the signature campaign for the BBL which garnered one million supporters.
"Wala kaming gagawin na marahas na pagkilos," he said. "Ngunit manghihingi na lamang kami ng tulong sa lahat ng sektor na suportahan lamang ang mga politiko na kapareho ng aming ipinaglalaban."
(We will not engage in violence. We will rather seek support from all sectors to support politicians who have the same advocacies as ours.) – Rappler.com
Who won in the 2016 Philippine elections?
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- 2016 Philippine Presidential Elections
- 2016 Philippine Vice Presidential Elections
- 2016 Philippine Senatorial Elections
- 2016 Philippine Congressional Elections
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- 2016 Philippine Local Elections
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