Moro group says Bangsamoro law compromises Moro rights for genuine freedom, self-determination

Oct. 23, 2014

COTABATO CITY—A Moro group on Thursday warned that the Bangsamoro law submitted to Congress have compromised the rights of Moro people and has actually restricted rights and powers of proposed Bangsamoro government.

Jerome Aba, spokesperson of Suara Bangsamoro, said the Malacanang-edited version of the Bangsamoro law was “a deception” to the Moro people.

Aba cited Bangsamoro Identity (Article II), Territory (Article III), General Principles (Article IV), Intergovernmental relations (Article VI), and Economy and Patrimony (Article XIII) as some of the compromised provisions.  “These articles restricted the rights and powers of the future Bangsamoro government by imposing the national laws, economic programs in the Bangsamoro government, binding it to international agreements and treaties, and restricting the future Bangsamoro Parliament from issuing laws contrary to the administration policies,” said Aba.

Aba added that the Aquino administration “deceived the people when it granted several concessions to the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) and the Moro people through House Bill 4994, “when in truth so much has been compromised.”

“In essence, it [the revised Bangsamoro law] veered away from the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro (CAB) and not just a simple language engineering,” Aba said, noting that the revisions were done to conform to the Philippine constitution.

He warned of a “possible danger” that the “Bangsamoro identity and territory will be diminished, if not gone, because the fate of the Bangsamoro people for a self-ruling territory hangs depends too much on the decisions of President Aquino and its Liberal partymates.”

“It is ironic that a government which promotes the creation of the Bangsamoro government is the same government that promotes anti-Moro policies that resulted to deaths and disregard of their rights.”

Also, Aba warned that the Aquino administration has invited the US “to use the Moro areas as staging ground for the global war on terror that incites its people to discriminate our fellow Moro people”. and  has even instituted “terror-tagging and imposing an ID system only to Moro residents including the implementation of warrantless arrests against Moro men who were suspected as terrorists.”

“We reiterate our rejection to House Bill 4994 and encourages all the Moro people who were victims of the Aquino administration’s anti-Moro policy to join the series of consultations and hearings of the Bangsamoro Basic Law to expose President Aquino’s deception on the Bangsamoro government.”

Meanwhile, Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process Teresita Quintos Deles, in a statement, challenged the  civil society leaders to scrutinize the Bangsamoro bill and debate it among fellow stakeholders.

“The BBL has to be a law that passes scrutiny and the call should be: let’s scrutinize and debate it to ensure that there is ownership,” said Deles.

Deles appealed to peace advocates to “strengthen their awareness campaigns and carefully study and understand the BBL through social actions until it reaches mass media, opinion shapers, and most especially Congress.”

Implementation entails moving forward with the roadmap towards the establishment of the Bangsamoro which means the holding of a plebiscite and going through a transition period next year before the elections for the future Bangsamoro government is held in 2016.

The two houses of Congress vowed to pass the bill within the first quarter of 2015. (

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