WHILE civil society groups are calling for Malacañang to hasten review on the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law, a Moro from an interfaith group said this bill is not the key to the long-coveted peace in Mindanao.

Macacuna Sumpingan, retired colonel from Lanao del Sur and a member of the interfaith group, sees the failure of the Bangsamoro bill when enacted.

Sumpingan has been pessimistic because of the current state of political system in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (Armm).

“I personally don’t like how the Bangsamoro is being managed,” he said, referring to the government officials running the Armm.

Since the Basic Law will give full power to the new government in the region, Sumpingan feared more politicians will be interested in running for office which will make a much more “disorderly” political system in the Armm.

“The most important factor here is sincerity. Those who are in the government should be honest with governance,” he added.

Some other Moro groups also affirmed Sumpingan’s pessimism to the law.

“Doubtful lang ko. You can’t blame me and the others kay we here are the ones who see and experience the real deal, the small things that take place nga maoy manifestation sa walay ayo nga management. Wala na koy nakita na betterment kay mag-ilog na ang mga Moro leaders,” Haniah Ilupa, a resident in Marawi City, told Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro.

The proposal looked so good at the onset because of its vision to attain peace in Mindanao but this view eventually changed since there are some interested individuals who are willing to pay for the position they want, she added.

“Wala koy makita na future ani. Naa koy nadungog nga naay (I don’t see any future in this. I’ve heard there is) ‘moneydown’ for appointment,” Ilupa said.

Before the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsomoro (CAB) was signed last March 27, various groups and individuals, including Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago, questioned the constitutionality of the Basic Law.

MPC Positive

However, the Mindanao People’s Caucus, a nongovernment organization devoted to the peace process, is positive with the outcome of the Basic Law.

“We’re not talking here of the existing system. Naay mga bag-ong structural and political reforms nga gi-introduce so that this will already be reflective,” lawyer Mary Ann Arnado of the MPC said in a forum at a hotel here on Tuesday evening.

Concerns about further delay in the enactment of the Bangsamoro Bill are seen to heighten peoples’ anxiety, especially in areas identified as the Bangsamoro homeland.

Arnado, secretary general of MPC, said that although they are optimistic that BBL will see the approval from the two chambers of Congress, its early passage would answer some apprehensions coming from the affected regions in Mindanao.

“Since we do not have a copy of the draft provisions of the BBL we cannot fully appreciate the bill, rather than when it is enacted, then that’s the time we can substantially tackle a number of contentious issues,” Arnado said.

Real battleground

She said that the enactment of the bill is less than a pressing issue, “and that congress is not the real battle ground, but the plebiscite to follow once the BBL is enacted.”

Malacañang earlier said that President Aquino will certify the need to urgently pass the BBL soon after it is submitted for enactment into law by the Senate and the Lower House.

But the legislators are set to adjourn sessions for a recess from June 14 to July 27, leaving little time for floor deliberations.

The Bangsamoro Bill is expected to encounter scrutiny from lawmakers in the southern Mindanao provinces and that would be left with little time for congress to fast-track its passage.

MPC said that they are almost certain that the BBL will be enacted based on the political mapping conducted among the members of the Senate and the House of Representatives which showed a high rating of approval.

Political mapping

The political mapping was done by the London based International Alert.

MPC allayed the apprehensions of some of the stakeholders saying that the BBL will not in any way go against the Philippine Constitution.

“There will be no provisions in the BBL that will deviate from the constitution, and that’s the reason why the Office of the President is carefully reviewing the draft of the BBL to ensure its constitutionality and withstand judicial scrutiny and avoid legal debacles.” Arnado said.

Sliding back

She said that the worse-case scenario is when the BBL will fail and that Mindanao would slide back to its previous state of a troubled land.

“We cannot allow the effort of the present administration to bring peace to Mindanao to be undermined simply because of some political interests of our leaders, and it is now up to the government to show its sincerity.” Arnado said.

In Marawi alone, large posters saying “Yes to Bangsamoro” are mounted everywhere.

Christian group also supports the passage of this law to fully attain peace in Mindanao.

“We should work hard to persuade our Muslim brethren who have adverse reactions to the Bangsamoro, whose intention is to end the armed conflict in Mindanao. There is really a need to educate the people,” said Monsignor Raymund Santo of the Interfaith Forum on the Bangsamoro.