Bangsamoro Organic Law (BOL), with all its resources and promises, has been the talk of the town for the past few days. With the recently concluded plebiscite, where the majority voted for “yes,” Muslim Filipinos’ expectation for a successful implementation of the organic law heightened.
In relation to “BOL fever” so to speak, Dr. Macapado A. Muslim gave a timely lecture entitled “The 2018 Bangsamoro Organic Law in the Philippines: Solving the Mindanao Conflict with Autonomy Plus Compensatory Justice” last January 30, 2019 at the Bulwagang Salam, Romulo Hall, Institute of Islamic Studies, UP Diliman. Basically, the lecture scoped the key points in his book of the same title. He pointed out that the continuous terror and activities of violent extremism in Mindanao urgently call for final peaceful settlement between the government and the Moro rebel groups; for various ethno-linguistic groups of the Moro society to unite; and for national unity among Muslim, Christian, and Lumad. He also highlighted that the Bangsamoro Organic Law is quite unique as it addresses the principal determinants of the Moro problem.
Relating recent developments to his field of interest as an academician, Dr. Macapado emphasized nonviolent politics to be at place in Muslim Filipino communities, sharing, “aside from the usual armed struggle, there are nonviolent approaches which have been more powerful sometimes in addressing society or community concerns.” This concept has led him to write his PhD dissertation at the University of Hawaii.
Dr. Macapado is so hopeful for the BOL and personally advocates it, sharing, “I must be able to contribute to solving the problem in Mindanao without seceding… So my first condition is, it must be a peaceful approach to solving the problem that does not allow the dismemberment of our Republic. The truth is… we, your brother Muslims, we have also learned to love this Republic…” (Translated from Filipino)
IIS Dean Asst. Prof. Macrina A. Morados commended Dr. Macapado’s book saying, “When I did a fast reading of his book, I said, had this book been read before the plebiscite, I’m sure all will vote yes” (Translated from Filipino).
College Secretary Dr. Jamel Cayamodin, on the other hand, shared a 2013 research suggesting that there was a need for Muslim Filipinos with the technical know-how to actively participate in the political processes of the Bangsamoro government to avoid repeating the same failure in the past. He further adds that the BOL is like a “baby” entrusted by the national government to the Bangsamoro leadership and so it should be manned by competent professionals. He likewise commended Dr. Macapado for his invaluable contribution to Muslim Filipinos communities. The public lecture was well attended by students, academics, and other stakeholders. A book sale of Dr. Macapado’s work was part of the book’s promotional activities.