The passage of the Bangsamoro Basic Law and the eventual establishment of a Bangsamoro government may finally put an end to the decades-old Moro struggle in Mindanao, particularly in the southern part of the island region, a regional lawmaker said over the weekend.
Assemblyman Abol Alam Padate, who represents the 2nd district of Lanao del Sur in the ARMM Regional Legislative Assembly, however, said there may still be some remaining small armed groups that may crop up along the way.
That depends on how the new entity will be governed by the Moro Islamic Liberation Front, which Padate said will have the most nominees for positions in the new government, Padate added.
“In other words, if the MILF-dominated Bangsamoro Government would be able to establish and maintain a corruption-free government and deliver the Bangsamoro from poverty, as what they want the Bangsamoro to expect, I submit that all Moro arm struggle in Mindanao would finally be put to rest,” the assemblyman said.
“After all, what the Bangsamoro have been fighting for is to have a place of our own where we can govern ourselves, with at least minimal intervention from the central government, according to our culture and tradition consistent with the tenets of our Islamic faith,” he added.
The failure of the MILF dominated Bangsamoro Government to govern and meet the expectations of the Bangsamoro would mean more Moro armed groups would crop up, and their struggle for self-rule will continue, the former public prosecutor said.
On federalism, Padate believes it is “the nearest thing” to realize the Bangsamoro’s desire for self-rule.
“Federalism is nothing but BBL. The two have lots in common. But, then again it will all depend on how the Moro people would choose the kind of leader who will take charge of having a peaceful, prosperous and developed Bangsamoro state or region free from corruption, and which will deliver the Bangsamoro from poverty,” he said.
The assemblyman strongly believes that having a new system of government alone, whether an autonomous government or a federal one, “without booting out incompetent and bad leaders will not deliver the change that we all desire.”
“Simply put, a new system of government needs new and competent leaders,” Padate said.