Duterte’s BBL fans the flames of the Moro people’s struggles
Duterte’s Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL), as it now stands as separately approved
bills by the Philippine Senate and House of Representatives, has roused deep and
widespread dissatisfaction among the Moro people and advocates of their right to
self-determination. The impending enactment of the BBL by Duterte will not only
fail to correct the historical injustices against the Moro people, but will
further prolong and worsen their national oppression. Contrary to its aim of
appeasing the Moro people, Duterte’s BBL is set to succeed only in further
enraging them to wage even greater struggles to advance the Bangsamoro cause.
Mobilizing his supermajority in the lower house and majority control of the
Senate, Duterte managed to railroad the approval of his BBL with almost nary an
opposition by allowing it to be mangled by reactionary ruling class politicians
with deep-seated anti-Moro prejudice and chauvinism. The BBL is now beyond
recognition of the members of the Bangsamoro Transition Council which drafted
the original consensual version. The process of reconciling the different
versions of the Senate and House bills through the bicameral conference is
anticipated to further hollow out the BBL until it is left only with its name as
an empty shell.
Far from giving the Moro people the long-aspired for right to
self-determination, Duterte’s BBL is set to further reinforce their national
oppression. It subsumes any so-called “Moro authority” to be exercised in the
BBL under the 1987 Philippine constitution and the powers of the central
government. Most critically, it reserves the central government’s exclusive
right to operate an armed forces within the Bangsamoro area, and puts local
police operations under the Philippine National Police. Duterte’s BBL aims to
disempower the Moro people by disarming and demobilizing their armies, thus
disabling them from defending their rights and exercising political authority.
Furthermore, Duterte’s BBL denies the Moro people the exclusive right to
determine the use of their natural resources. It has denied them the privilege
to manage and distribute land, determine and reclassify agricultural land-use,
regulate power generation, transmission and distribution as well as the
operation of public utilities, to practice their own justice system, and to
protect the rights of indigenous peoples.
The Moro people will forever suffer the loss of the Liguasan Marsh and the Lanao
Lake and its rich resources to foreign big capitalists which will be allowed
under Duterte’s BBL to encroach on Bangsamoro land and operate its businesses
without limits to foreign ownership. It specifies certain areas as free ports
where foreign companies will be afforded tax incentives and other investment
privileges. Duterte’s BBL is set to transform Bangsamoro land into a haven for
plunderous mining companies, and destructive rubber and oil palm plantations,
and make the broad broad masses of the Moro people suffer widespread economic
Duterte’s BBL is an insidious measure which pretends to serve the Moro people
but in fact aims to oppress them further. The broad spectrum of Moro groups are
disenchanted, to say the least. To many, Duterte’s BBL further insults and
assaults the Moro people who just recently suffered gravely from war of
destruction against Marawi City perpetrated by Duterte, the AFP and the US
Duterte and the whole anti-Moro chauvinists in the reactionary state are making
the same mistake of deceiving the Moro people. The enactment of Duterte’s BBL
in its present mangled form will surely rouse the Moro people, especially the
broad masses of peasants, workers and semiproletariat, as well as
petty-bourgeois intellectuals, to continue waging revolutionary resistance.
Various armed Moro revolutionary groups are bound to intensify their armed
struggle as Duterte’s BBL makes it crystal clear that they have no other
The Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) and all revolutionary forces
reiterates full support to the Moro people’s continuing struggle for their right
to self-determination. The CPP enjoins the broad masses of the Moro people to
rise up with the Filipino people against the Duterte government which has made
them suffer through wars and attacks against their human rights.
The Filipino people and the Moro people must forge unity against their common
oppressors and exploiters. They must jointly struggle against US imperialism and
its interventionist military, against the plunderous foreign companies and their
local business partners, against the US-directed Armed Forces of the
Philippines, against the big bureaucrats who pocket billions of pesos and fleece
on the people, as well as against those forces that betray their common cause.
They Filipino people and the Moro people are strongly connected by their
struggles for national liberation and social justice against common enemies.
Their history of symbiotic resistance continues.