Hataman

’Bangsamoro higit sa sarili’

September 16, 2021 Ryan Ponce Pacpaco 103 views

DEPUTY Speaker and Basilan Rep. Mujiv Hataman on Thursday said he voted “yes” on Wednesday to approve on third and final reading the measure resetting the first regular election in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) from May 2022 to May 2025, but not without reservations.

“The Bangsamoro Dream is bigger than my misgivings. The Bangsamoro Dream is bigger than any individual agenda – at umaasa tayo na lahat ng mga kasama natin ay kakapit din sa parehong paninindigan. Higit ang Bangsamoro sa sino man sa atin. Bangsamoro, higit sa sarili,” Hataman said.

In his explanation of vote on House Bill (HB) No. 10121, Hataman enumerated several concerns about the measure, first and foremost of which is that the bill, if enacted into law, is an infringement into the Bangsamoro’s right to self-determination.

The measure amends the Bangsamoro Organic Law (BOL) by resetting the scheduled BARMM elections.

“Una ikinalulungkot natin na nagsisimula pa lamang ang Bangsamoro, pero kumukupas na ang esensya ng ipinaglabang right to self-determination. Paano nangyayaring Kongreso na ang nagtatakda ng halalan? Nasaan ang tinig ng Bangsamoro sa desisyong ito?” Hataman, former governor of the now-defunct Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM), said.

“Ang pangakong hatid ng BOL nu’ng bumoto ng ‘YES’ ang mga tao: Sila mismo, ang Bangsamoro, ang magtatakda ng kanyang daang tatahakin. Sa gagawin nating ito, Mr. Speaker, parang hindi na Bangsamoro ang nagtatakda ng sariling eleksyon, kundi ang Kongreso,” he added.

The Basilan legislator further lamented that the approval of HB 10121 is setting a “risky precedent,” as it allows Congress to postpone or reset the elections in BARMM without consulting the people in a plebiscite.

“Noong pinalitan ng BARMM ang ARMM, umasa tayong ang pakikialam sa political affairs ng Bangsamoro ay mababawasan na. Amending a law passed through plebiscite should not be taken lightly, lalo na kung ang implikasyon ay may kinalaman sa pagpili sa mga kakatawan sa amin,” Hataman continued.

He also expressed reservations on the lack of a comprehensive roadmap and timeline on what the Bangsamoro Transition Authority (BTA) intends to do during the three-year extension, particularly in the area of legislation and in the normalization track and decommissioning of Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) combatants.

However, Hataman cast aside his misgivings and voted in the affirmative for HB 10121 and offered recommendations to the sponsors of the measure, as well as to the interim officials of the BTA.

First, he suggested that a new Transition Plan be submitted to the Office of the President and to Congress detailing the objectives of the extension, plans of action and timelines, including the precise parameters on what pieces of legislation will be prioritized.

“Sana din maging equitable ang appointment sa mga bumubuo ng BTA, at magkaroon ng representasyon ang mga ethnic minorities across the provinces of BARMM, lalong-lalo na ang representasyon ng mga kapatid nating Sama at Bajau,” Hataman said.

“Hindi mabubuo ang Bangsamoro region kung walang partisipasyon ng mga IPs at ng mga kapatid nating Kristiyano. Kailangang isalamin ng BTA ang diversity na mayroon tayo sa buong Bangsamoro,” he added.

He also called for a more inclusive hiring process in the BARMM government, also giving opportunities to tribes and ethnic groups in BARMM to serve for as long as they are qualified.

“And panghuli, sana din maging equitable ang budget allocation sa lahat ng probinsiya sa BARMM. Ang diwa ng BARMM ay pagkakaisa – at kung nagkakaisa tayo, ibig sabihin, dapat nang tuldukan ang palakasan, ang pagkakanya-kanya, ang tribal mentality that favors one province or area over another,” Hataman explained.

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