MANILA, Philippines — The Bangsamoro Transition Commission’s version of the Bangsamoro Basic Law has been gaining tremendous support, with an official of the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process claiming a 90 percent approval from people on the ground.
“I will report that the reception on the ground is about 90 percent said ‘yes’ for the BTC version of the BBL,” OPAPP Assistant Secretary Dickson Hermoso said in his talk during the Democratic Leadership and Active Civil Society Empowerment Bangsamoro project in Makati City Friday.
Hermoso said he based his assessment from consultations conducted by OPAPP with nongovernmental and civil society organizations and Congress in the Bangsamoro areas of Mindanao.
“We went out and the reception of the people on the ground, those will be affected by the new law, is tremendously supporting the BTC version of the BBL,” Hermoso, himself a native of Cotabato, said.
Hermoso said he was elated by the remarks of former Chief Justice Hilario David Jr. and Associate Justice Adolf Azcuna that “when they studied deeply the BTC version, they cannot find constitutional infirmities.”
“I’m one of the most affected. There is good in it. The political aspect is going smoothly. I hope there is no more Marawi or Mamasapano forthcoming. We are watching it closely,” he said.
Hermoso admitted that the normalization process in achieving peace and development in Mindanao is tedious but “we can move forward and hit the ground running” once the BBL becomes a law.
He assured Bangsamoro groups that their varying interests will be accounted for in the final version of the BBL as a means to deliver lasting peace in the region.
“Walang maiiwan sa BBL (Nobody will be left behind in BBL) — those are the President’s marching orders to OPAPP and BBL,” Hermoso said.
Presidential peace adviser Jesus Dureza said President Rodrigo Duterte is aware that the work for peace goes beyond signing of peace agreements, and achieving genuine peace warrants commitment in ensuring that all voices are recognized and heard.
“It is a never ending work of engaging, involving, hearing out the people across all races, tribes, class, and location,” Dureza said in his message, which read by Hermoso.
DELACSE Bangsamoro is a 13-month capacity-building project funded by the European Union (EU) and launched in April 2017 intended to prepare decision-makers and civil society leaders to be actively engaged in designing the new Bangsamoro political framework.