BASILAN PROVINCE, December 21, 2018 – The Southern Philippines Development Authority (SPDA) under the stewardship of former Basilan Governor Abdulghani ‘Gerry’ Salapuddin, has stretched it muscles in this province to support President Rodrigo Roa Duterte’s quest for the ratification of the Organic Law for the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (OLBARMM).
Now the SPDA Administrator and Chief Executive Officer, Gerry Salapuddin has been into a series of speaking engagements in the various peace rallies and people’s assemblies in Basilan Province following the start of the campaign period for the plebiscite on December 7, 2018. Peace rallies from all over the country will end January 19, 2019.
On Thursday, December 20, 2018, Administrator Salapuddin was among the guest speakers during the Bangsamoro People’s Assembly at the Basilan State College (BaSC) in Isabela City, this province. He discussed on the rights and benefits of the Indigenous Peoples (IPs) in the Bangsamoro Organic Law (BOL) which is the subject in the upcoming plebiscite on January 21, 2019 and on February 6, 2019. Tens of thousands of supporters in Basilan have rallied behind the ratification of the BOL in Mindanao.
The Bangsamoro Organic Law (BOL), now officially called the Organic Law for the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (OLBARMM), is the result of decades-long peace negotiations between the rebel groups in Mindanao, mainly the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), and the Philippine Government.
The OLBARMM abolishes the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) which was established in 1989 through Republic Act No. 6734 and strengthened in 2001 through Republic Act No. 9054. Officials have earlier called the ARMM a failure, marred by corruption and mismanagement.
After its ratification, the new law then creates the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM), or simply the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region.
(Celestino B. Siglos, Ed.D.)