Muslims from non-Bangsamoro areas back BOL

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By Ria Fernandez

Over 50 Filipino Muslims from non-Bangsamoro communities nationwide picketed outside the Golden Mosque in Quiapo, Manila, in support of the Bangsamoro Organic Law on Friday, the start of the campaign period for the BOL.

A child raises a placard supporting the Bangsamoro Basic Law during the rally at Golden Mosque in Quiapo, Manila, December 7, 2018 (Rio Leonelle Deluvio/ MANILA BULLETIN)

A child raises a placard supporting the Bangsamoro Basic Law during the rally at Golden Mosque in Quiapo, Manila, December 7, 2018 (Rio Leonelle Deluvio/ MANILA BULLETIN)

The campaign period ends on Jan. 19, 2019 before a plebiscite will be conducted on Jan. 21.

Placards bearing the words,“Yes to BOL” and “Welcome BARMM!,” among others, were waved up in the air to urge Muslims in Mindanao to vote in favor of the measure.

Alan Balangi-Amer, president of 1BANGSA, believes that with BOL the decades-long conflict in Mindanao will finally be resolved.

“Sawang-sawa na kami sa kaguluhan sa Mindanao. Hindi lang Muslim and naaaapektuhan dito,pati ‘yung mga non-Muslim…dahil ang pamahalaan gumagastos ng malaki [para sa giyera] (We are so tired of the conflict in Mindanao. Not only Muslims but also non-Muslims are affected here since the government spends so much for war),” he said in an interview.

“Pwedenasiguro kami umuwi ng Mindanao kung sakaling magkaroon ng Bangsamoro government. Dun na tayo manirahan at mag hanapbuhay dahil sa batas na ‘yan (Probably, we can return home to Mindanao should there be a Bangsamoro government. There, we will live and work because of [BOL]),” he added.

Once ratified, the Bangsamoro government will be composed of the current provinces under the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM), 39 barangays in North Cotabato, six municipalities in Lanao del Norte, and the cities of Cotabato in Maguindanao, and Isabela in Basilan.

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