BBL falls short on UN indigenous peoples rights
The UN Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples thinks the proposed Bangsamoro law falls short in meeting the minimum international standards for the survival, dignity, and well being of indigenous peoples
In light of the Bangsamoro Basic Law's (BBL) impending adoption by the Philippine House of Representative and Senate, I would like to share my views on House Bill No. 4994 and its amended version.
The final adopted version of the BBL will have direct impacts on the rights of the Non-Moro Indigenous Peoples. In my capacity as the UN Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, it is my responsibility to assess the opportunities and risks this law may have on them.
I fully support the goals to achieve peace with justice in the Bangsamoro territory and the protection and fulfillment of the human rights of the Bangsamoro people. For too long, the Bangsamoro together with the Non-Moro Indigenous Peoples have suffered and continue to suffer from the legacy of colonization, historical injustices, and persistent gross violations of their basic human rights. They are often dispossessed of their lands, territories, and resources without their free, prior and informed consent, and are deprived of their right to determine their political status and pursue their own economic, social, and cultural development.
There is no doubt that the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro, the Framework Agreement, and now the enactment of the Bangsamoro Basic Law are key steps in the quest for long-lasting peace and justice for all. However, it is equally important to ensure that the rights of the Non-Moro Indigenous Peoples will not be diminished or derogated in any way in the BBL.