With the recent updates on the bill for a Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL), representatives of the Salaam Movement and students gathered to sign a manifesto of support during a forum held last Sept. 15, 2017 at the 3F Training Room, Community Center Building.
The “Bangsamoro Youth Caucus” forum was organized by the Salaam Movement in partnership with Al Qalam and Ateneo de Davao University, to discuss about the recent version of the crafted Bangsamoro Basic Law.
Althea Dannia Esmael, Salaam project coordinator, discussed the rationale of the event during her opening remarks.
“Ngayon iyong mga nandito, iba-ibang tribe tayo. May mga Tausug from Zamboanga, may mga Maranao from Lanao and Iligan, may Maguindanaon from Sultan Kudarat, municipality of Maguindanao, may mga from Cotabato City, Sarangani. Nagkaroon tayo [dito] ng opportunity para magkita-kita tayo at gather tayo. This is a very intimate gathering where we discuss and plan ways on moving forward when it comes to the Bangsamoro youth,” she shared.
Esmael also expressed her dismay on how BBL did not make the cut for the priority bills under the Duterte administration. Nevertheless, she expressed how the forum could be an avenue for points of discussion.
Atty. Bruneson Alabastro, CPA, speaker in the forum, lectured on the legal basis and constitutionality of the Bangsamoro Basic Law.
“The Bangsamoro government being proposed is not exclusive, rather it embraces diversity. Since it is not exclusive, it is embraced within the concept of social justice in our own Constitution. In effect, it is constitutional,” Alabastro stressed.
Alabastro also discussed other points that make the Bangsamoro government constitutional including freedom of choice, representation, internal governance and non-exclusivity.
An open-ended discussion was also conducted among the participants. The attendees also resorted to making a manifesto of support for the proposed Bangsamoro government in continuance of the long fight for social justice as advocated by their ancestors.