Why is it so hard to be Bangsamoro?

Sun.Star Pampanga - - STORY! - MUS­SOLINI LIDASAN

PEO­PLE, at heart, are crea­tures of habit. If it were up to us, we would al­ways main­tain the sta­tus quo. How­ever, stay­ing the same can be repet­i­tive, bor­ing, and even de­struc­tive. For ex­am­ple, if I ate the same thing ev­ery day, I would get sick of it.

You can imag­ine what it is like for our Moro broth­ers and sis­ters who see war and strife ev­ery day. They have grown so used to it that even giv­ing them a glim­mer of hope might turn them away. They have been promised bet­ter lives over and over again, but these are yet to be ful­filled. For us in the Bangsamoro Tran­si­tion Com­mis­sion, we aim to keep our prom­ises.

How­ever, it is eas­ier said than done. In the up­com­ing Bangsamoro Tran­si­tion Au­thor­ity, there will be 80 mem­bers that have been given the enor­mous task of re­build­ing an en­tire re­gion. We are not just clean­ing house — we are build­ing a new one.

In this new house, what do we en­vi­sion? For us, I see all of our tribes rep­re­sented, at the din­ner ta­ble, eat­ing side by side and en­joy­ing each other’s com­pany. This is a vi­sion for the Bangsamoro that many of us hold dear, even if we do not call our­selves Bangsamoro.

But why is that? Why is it so hard for us to iden­tify as Bangsamoro? His­tor­i­cally, we have been called many names by peo­ple who have at­tempted to con­quer us — the Span­ish called us one name, the Amer­i­cans an­other. And now, this new govern­ment is giv­ing us yet an­other name. Why is this even nec­es­sary?

Just like in the BTC, we have changed the mean­ing of the term by law. In R.A. 9054 the def­i­ni­tion of the Bangsamoro is as fol­lows: “These are cit­i­zens who are be­liev­ers in Is­lam and who have re­tained some or all of their own so­cial, eco­nomic, cul­tural, and political in­sti­tu­tions.”

RA 11054 re­de­fined the term to mean the fol­low­ing: “Those who, at the ad­vent of the Span­ish col­o­niza­tion, were con­sid­ered na­tives or orig­i­nal in­hab­i­tants of Min­danao and the Sulu ar­chi­pel­ago and its ad­ja­cent is­lands,

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