Press Release
January 20, 2019


*Akbayan Senator Risa Hontiveros on the Bangsamoro plebiscite

I call on our Bangsamoro sisters and brothers and all Mindanaoan people eligible to participate in the plebiscite on Monday to go out and vote in favor of the creation of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region, and, as active citizens, to protect the sanctity and integrity of the political exercise.

I ask the Philippine government, the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), the different religious leaders, international election observers, peace advocates and non-government organizations to work even more closely than ever to ensure the peaceful, orderly and credible conduct of the plebiscite.

I also appeal to the opponents of the Bangsamoro Organic Law (BOL) to exercise their right to dissent responsibly and ultimately, through the ballot box. Let us maintain our respect for Mindanao, our democratic institutions and one another despite our differences.

The Bangsamoro plebiscite is a crucial step in fulfilling our commitment to the Moro people to freely determine their future through a genuine exercise of autonomy, sufficient representation in our democratic institutions, a complete acknowledgement of their claims to their ancestral lands and full respect for their cultural and religious freedoms.

Likewise, the plebiscite is groundbreaking as it moves us closer to genuine peace and development. It contributes to the collective effort to silence the guns and remove violence from Mindanaoan politics while recognizing the deep and multi-faceted root causes of the armed conflict in the region.

The Bangsamoro people's struggle is close to my heart and to the heart of my party, Akbayan. As progressives, we fully recognize the Moro people's right to self-determination. We believe that a positive transformation of Philippine society is possible and sustainable through a modern and democratic reinvention and reimagining of the Philippine nation and our national community.

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