Why Must The Muslims Study The Existing IPRA Law?

Many of us love Mindanao.

And almost all of us want peace,
but at what cost?

More than 175 indigenous tribes have painstakingly undergone the laborious task of application to acquire their ancestral lands through the existing Indigenous People’s Rights Act (IPRA). A very laudable provision in this law is the requirement of a comprehensive and viable land and forest management program to be presented and defended by the applying party.

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These people followed Philippine laws and went through the tedious but peaceful process and eventually won their rights to their cherished land without giving the government any headaches;
no bargaining for their own armies,
no insistence on getting their share from the national budget,
no requirements for special laws for themselves.

Many of them are now prosperous with some focused on exports and a few even own their own banks.

This law being strictly implemented by government, why is the MILF now being given preferential treatment? Were we not repeatedly taught (again and again and again) that laws are designed for the common good? Should we even attempt to craft laws that have questionable provisions that contradict the Constitution?

The BBL will bring chaos and NOT peace. Why?

Aside from the Muslims, there are hundreds of thousands of Christians (Ilonggo, Ilocano, Cebuano, Bolanon, etc), indigenous peoples (Bla’an, Bagobo, Subanen, T’boli, Tiruray, Manobo, Molbog, etc) who have been living for hundreds of years inside the vast areas covered by the proposed BBL.

These non-Muslim groups, roughly double in number compared to the Muslims in the current ARMM area, strongly oppose the BBL because once approved, the Muslim Sha’ria Law will be used to govern these vast areas.

They too are well-armed and are tested warriors. Remember that the Spanish, American and Japanese armies failed miserably against them. Now with the aid of the highly-vaunted AK-47 assault rifles from the New People’s Army (NPA), these people are promising war if the BBL is passed.

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Photo credits from security matters.com

Shortsighted Ging Deles has been avoiding this issue, while President Pnoy is silent. Filipinos far from these areas are also ignorant of the realities on the ground.

Should Philippine laws now be allowed to be tailor-fit to suit the friends of the powers-that-be?

Will the rumored ambitious and selfish campaign of Pnoy to win the Nobel Peace Prize justify the passing of the Bangsamoro Basic Law?

Calls for Pnoy’s resignation abound but do we have a better alternative? How can we ensure that we won’t be jumping from the pan to the fire?
Right now, it’s more like
“Between the devil
and the deep blue sea”
at this juncture.

So for now, it’s
No to terrorists.
No to BBL.
Yes to IPRA.

Read the entire
The Indigenous Peoples’ Rights Act of 1997 –
REPUBLIC ACT NO. 8371
http://www.gov.ph/1997/10/29/republic-act-no-8371/

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