DAVAO CITY: Gov. Mujiv Hataman of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao lamented the results of the Pulse Asia survey that showed negative reception toward the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL).
Hataman said the BBL was severely affected by the criticisms hurled against the government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) following the police operation in Mamasapano, Maguin-danao that resulted in the death of 68 people, 44 of them elements of the Special Action Force of the Philippine National Police.
“We have expected that the acceptability of BBL will suffer after that incident in Mamasapano on January 25. I am not really surprised,” Hataman said in an interview with 105.9 Balita FM here.
The Mamasapano tragedy, he said, was the spark that ignited further the public’s misconceptions and biases against the Moro people and the establishment of a Bangsamoro territory, once BBL is ratified.
“The public is still confused about BBL. I would say the BBL is really misunderstood,” Hataman said. “Many think that it will facilitate the establishment of an independent republic, or an Islamic State. What happened in Mamasapano was the turning point that worked against the BBL and the aspiration of the Moro people,” he added.
The Mamasapano carnage, he said, hostaged the BBL as the public’s mistrust of the MILF and the government heightened.
Miriam Colonel-Ferrer, a professor who chairs the government negotiating panel, said results of the survey clearly showed that many Filipinos remain misinformed about the proposed law.
The survey, conducted from March 1 to March 7, showed that 62 percent of people in Mindanao reject the passage of BBL. Almost five out of 10 Filipinos or 44 percent are also not in favor of the passage of the proposed law.
“There are still those who are misinformed about certain provisions of the BBL,” she said, stressing that the issues that need to be clarified include the supposed establishment of an MILF-controlled military and police forces.
“This is an opportunity for us to make the public well-informed that they will be able to understand and appreciate our efforts to stop the war in Mindanao,” she said. “If the people are informed well, they can help us convince our legislators to continue the peace process and the deliberations of the BBL,” she added.
Hataman questioned the locale of the study.
“Did this study cover the core territories of ARMM which will also be the same areas where the plebiscite will be conducted?” asked Hataman. “I think it is only correct to also conduct a study covering the core territories,” he added.