SWS: Pinoys ‘Neutral’ on BBL

SWS: Pinoys ‘Neutral’ on BBL

Manila, Philippines, MINA — Majority of Filipinos have “neutral” sentiment over the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law, a new poll showed. But the public tends to believe that the new legislation granting more autonomy to the country’s Muslim minority could bring peace to the restive island of Mindanao, Phulstar reported.

According to a June 27 to 30 survey of 1,200 adults by pollster Social Weather Stations (SWS), 31 percent of respondents agree, 28 percent disagree and 40 percent were undecided on moves by Congress to pass the BBL.

This gives a net agreement score of +3, classified by SWS as “neutral.”

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The BBL is the product of a rocky 20-year peace process between the state and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front in a bid to end years of rebellion that has stunted the resource-rich Mindanao’s economic growth.

The passage of the delayed peace deal is also seen as a crucial tool in curbing extremism in the war-torn southern region.

President Rodrigo Duterte—who hails from Mindanao—has sought to resuscitate the stalled BBL after the bill, which was championed by his predecessor, was effectively derailed by an anti-terror raid in Mamasapano, Maguindanao in 2015 that claimed the lives of around 60 Filipinos, including 44 police commandos.

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“Advocates assert that the proposed law is a crucial step in this effort. There seems to be a small tendency for those satisfied with President Duterte to be more positive (+5) than those dissatisfied with him (-4), but this is not statistically significant,” SWS said.

After more than a week of debates, the Senate and the House of Representatives last Wednesday finally came up with a consolidated version of the BBL.

The measure is now called the “Organic Law for the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao” – the name of the political entity that will replace the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao.

According to SWS, Filipinos tend to moderately agree that passing the law will bring peace in Mindanao, at a moderate net agreement of +13.

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The survey has sampling error margins of ±3 percent for national percentages, and ±6 percent each for Metro Manila, Balance Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao.   (T/RS5/RS1)

Mi’raj Islamic News Agency (MINA)

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