Marawi City Mayor Majul Gandamra on Wednesday said the Bangsamoro Organic Law “must be given a fighting chance by all of us” in Mindanao even as the early returns indicate a victory for the “Yes” side in the referendum.
This developed as the city government announced that the conduct of the plebiscite in Marawi last Monday to ratify the BOL was “a peaceful and successful one.”
“Marawi City is one with the rest of the Bangsamoro in the ratification of the RA [Republic Act] 11054, and fervently hopes that the BOL and the BARRM [Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao] will effect a lasting peace and healing in Mindanao after decades of conflict and inequity, and this has been demonstrated by the overwhelming ‘Yes’ response of the city’s constituents,” Gandamra said.
“As someone who has lived all his life in this area, I have unfortunately seen how history damaged the Bangsamoro. I have seen how its ramifications have resulted in many tragedies here on this land, one of which just happened only close to two years ago, in Marawi,” the mayor noted.
Before the Marawi Siege, the city was already on its way to progressing towards change after decades of neglect and indifference, Gandamra said.
“The siege suddenly put a stop to that. Now, almost two years on, we have yet to make major headways into the city’s rehabilitation,” he noted.
Gandamra believes that with the BOL, and with the BARRM, “we will have better chances of moving forward, we will have a much better relationship with the national government in terms of what will be beneficial to the region.”
“Most importantly, we shall be able to progress as a people who are forward-looking and yet mindful of who we are and where we come from,” he said.
“In short, BOL gives the Bangsamoro the chance to be and to achieve many great things that were not possible in the past,” the mayor noted.
“I heartily then support the BOL, because it is a blueprint of our hopes and aspirations for the present, the future, and beyond.”