The bloody Mamasapano incident has largely eroded the public’s acceptance of the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL).
If the latest Pulse Asia survey is to be used as yardstick, even the people in Mindanao—62 percent of them—do not support the BBL which would pave the way for the creation of a new autonomous region.
Throughout the country, 44 percent or about five in 10 Filipinos who responded to the poll oppose the passage of the BBL.
A proposal pending in Congress calls for the holding of a plebiscite on the BBL in areas to be included in the new autonomous region should the measure gets cleared by the national legislature.
Among the areas that are to be included in the new Bangsamoro autonomous region include the current areas under the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM), the cities of Cotabato and Isabela, and several areas in North Cotabato.
The proposed BBL is the end-result of years of painstaking peace negotiation between the Philippine government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF).
Pulse Asia Research Inc. conducted the survey from March 1 to 7 as the nation continues to reel from the aftermath of the Mamasapano incident where 44 policemen from the PNP Special Action Force were killed in a gun battle with armed men belonging to the MILF, the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters as well as private armed groups.
The police operation was carried out to serve an arrest warrant against suspected international terrorists Zulkifli bin Hir alias Marwan and Abdul Basit Usman.
Marwan was also killed in the incident.
The firestorm generated by the death of the government troopers has threatened to derail the passage of the BBL, as it cast doubts on the sincerity of the MILF and its commitment to the peace process.
The clash has also magnified the supposedly unconstitutional provisions in the BBL, holding back legislators from passing the proposed measure within the deadline.
According to the survey more people in Mindanao believe the BBL should not be passed by lawmakers, compared to those in Metro Manila (52%), Luzon (32%), and the Visayas (43%).
Thirty-six percent remain undecided on the controversial measure, while 21 percent of the respondents support its passage, the survey said.
Among all regions, the lowest level of indecision about their stand on the BBL was recorded in Mindanao at 18 percent.
In the rest of Luzon, 43 percent are undecided, while 40 percent are undecided in the Visayas.
Meanwhile, Pulse Asia survey recorded a high level of awareness among Filipinos regarding the BBL.
Nine in 10 Filipinos or 88 percent said they have heard, read or watched something about the proposed law.
The survey showed that in terms of geographic area, awareness on the BBL was highest in Mindanao (93 percent), followed by Metro Manila and Balance Luzon (both 87 percent), and Visayas (82 percent).
In terms of socio-economic class, BBL awareness was highest among Class ABC (92 percent), followed by Class D (89 percent), and Class E (82 percent).
With the news about the Mamasapano clash still hogging the headlines, Pulse Asia reported that virtually all Filipinos (99 percent) are aware of the Mamasapano clash.