Leading anthropologist concurs with extending BARMM transition 

File photo of President Rodrigo Duterte sounding the ceremonial agung during the 2019 inauguration of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, with BARMM Interim Chief Minister Al Haj Murad Ebrahim looking on. Several sectors have voiced support for the extension of the BARMM transition period from 2022 to 2025. (photo from PCOO)

DAVAO CITY- A noted anthropologist and author has thrown his hat to the current clamor to extend the transition period of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM).

“Like many peace advocates among civil society organizations in Mindanao, I take part in a growing public sentiment to extend the period within which the newly-established BARMM may transition towards full fruition,” said Bro. Karl Gaspar, CSsR in response to questions about his opinion on the subject.

He noted that “the extension of the transition period, from 2022 to 2025, is being pushed in order to enable stakeholders in both the BARMM and national government enough time to address their priority concerns.”

Gaspar, a Redemptorist brother, has for nearly 30 years worked with indigenous families in Davao Oriental, Cotabato, Bukidnon, Zamboanga del Sur, and Sultan Kudarat.

He has travelled to and immersed in these communities as a member of the Redemptorists’ Itinerant Mission Team. Gaspar is currently based in Davao City where he received the Datu Bago Award in 2018.

The Datu Bago Award is the highest civilian citation bestowed on its residents by the local government of Davao City. He was honored for his contributions to the city in the fields of culture and peace-building

As social scientist and lay theologian, he has published numerous essays and authored at least a dozen books on peace and development, one of which, “Manobo Dreams in Arakan: A People's Struggle to Keep Their Homeland,” earning for him a National Book Award in 2012. 

“We were all delighted that in 2014, the historic peace agreement gave birth to BARMM.  But to have provided only three years (2019 to 2022) for BARMM to accomplish too much was rather not practical,” Gaspar said.

Noted anthropologist, author and Datu Bago Awardee Bro. Karl Gaspar is concuring to the proposal to extend the BARMM transition period

He reasoned that the dramatic shift of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front from warriors to civilians warranted “enough time for its transformation as the former combatants need to adjust to the difficult processes of governance.  In fact, there is still so much to be completed and finished, e.g. the Education Code, GAD (Gender and Development) code and others.”

A growing number of peace advocates and peacebuilders including those from Civil Society Organizations CSOs) are supporting the extension of the Bangsamoro Transition Authority. Under the Bangsamoro Organic Law (BOL), the transition period is good for three years from 2019 to 2022.

An online petition urging President Rodrigo Duterte to support the transition’s extension has breached the one million mark as of last month, according to Mary Ann Arnado of the Mindanao People’s Caucus, the civil society group that organized the signature campaign. (RG Alama with reports from N. Gomez)





Source: Philippines Information Agency (pia.gov.ph)

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