Tribe bae: No to BBL

by Maria Eleanor E. Valeros, #netizenmedia

caption: Bae Makabulig (Ritalinda Lipiahan), a former supervisor of SM Malls in Manila, is now right hand of Datu Lolong, national chairman of Higaonon Tribal Communities Federation. The couple is seen here on their way to Sitio Tamusan, Brgy. Capehan, Libona town, Bukidnon for a tribal assembly. The children are residents of Tamusan.

MISAMIS ORIENTAL, NORTHERN MINDANAO, PHILIPPINES — “We say no to the Bangsamoro Basic Law. We can’t trust some Muslims; they have this culture of reprisal or vendetta (rido) that it’s best to trust only when they are dead,” so states Bae Makabulig (Ritalinda Lipiahan), wife of Datu Lolong (Dencio S. Lipiahan, Sr.) prior to our ritual in line with our membership to the Higaonon tribe on April 2 (Maundy Thursday) as migrants (bilaw or non-lumad bloodline).

A “bae” is a title given to a wife of a datu, the chieftain here of a Higaonon tribe. These two are trusted community leaders.

“I say that we can’t trust all Muslims because when they are angry, lisod kaayo na sila. Pag masuko, rido gyud na. Higaonons value peace. In fact, we are the most peace-loving people of all tribes here. We had only engaged in war when we really were left with no choice. But currently we have worked so hard on promoting economic sustainability as we battle continuously for the preservation of tribal reservation areas,” Bae Makabulig underscored.

Higaonons value promotion of social justice system: recognizing the rights of individuals, protecting and preserving their culture, traditions and institutions.

When Datu Lolong, national chairman of the Talugan Ta Tagoloan-Higaonon Tribal Communities Federation, was asked on reported armed movements recruiting Higaonons, he said that warfare and uprisings are decided by the Council of Datus. As for now, they bank on the various peace treaties forged by their elders such as the Treaties of Dawa (the right to alliance or association), as well as Durian (the right to self-determination under a national government).

“Our laws and peace treaties complement the provisions of Philippine Constitutions – 1935 and 1987 – that we are to unite tribes and to engage in peace processes, no matter how long and painstaking,” the datu added.

“One’s works speak well of one’s motives. How can the Bangsamoro attest to campaigning for peace but preparing, at the same time, for war? The act gives us the hint on how to course our judgment for the welfare of indigenous people here. We will decide what to do with these revolutionary groups when time comes,” the datu accentuated.

For now, they are not bothered by the recruitment activities as consultations between government troops and Higaonons reportedly harassed by revolutionary groups are ongoing. The last talk was held at Camp Evangelista last March 26 and 27 in Patag, Cagayan de Oro City.

Somehow, a culture of deceit is evident in the use of aliases by negotiators from the MILF camp. Mohagher Iqbal, for one, refuses to disclose his real identity, saying it is “normal for them to be carrying various names and monikers.”

Senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos, Jr. led the questioning on Iqbal’s person, but failed to squeeze out substantial information.###


11 thoughts on “Tribe bae: No to BBL

  1. I don’t think I’m pro-BBL too. I haven’t really studied the entirety of it but upon reading the terms initially, I’m quite partial about it. I guess we/the public need more information and awareness about it. However the sad fact is even when we’re knowledgeable about it, is there something we can do as general public for it not to go on? Not sure.


  2. I don’t have anything against Muslims but it’s so sad to say that we can’t really trust some of them. I don’t approve BBL as well but no further comment. Hehe 😐


  3. The Mindanao situation is such a complex, heartbreaking problem. I’m not fully aware of the BBL, I need to read more about it, but generally I think new laws aren’t going to do much improvement when the relationships between groups are strained to begin with and there’s deep-seated conflict involved. It’s like treating the symptoms and not really the main disease 😦


  4. I have nothing against Muslims really but unfortunately some of them can’t be trusted gyud especially katong naa na karon dire sa Cebu. I live in a place where the population is 40% Muslims and in one month there are 2-3 crimes especially murder that involve our Muslim neighborhood.

    I don’t really have much information about BBL so I can’t say anything about it. Haha!


  5. To be honest, I’m not really familiar with what’s going on in the southern part of Philippines but after reading this post, it give a little chill that our country, Philippines, should be united, nothing else.


  6. I am also against BBL and I have to agree about that culture of reprisal based on experiences from relatives. We should aim for peace and being divided will just lead us to fall.


  7. We’re in one nation. I don’t see the point of not having unity within the people here in our nation. This made me aware of some circumstances in some parts outside our city and it’s pretty scary, to be honest. Everybody should be made aware of this. :/


  8. It’s very interesting that those who signed and authored BBL are not from Mindanao. I wonder if they would feel the same if it’s Luzon.


  9. I can’t blame Bae Makabulig for reacting that way because she has experienced a lot of bad stuff with the Muslims. I can’t blame if some Muslims if mo-rido dayon sila. Some of them were taught that it is the right thing to do or react. I just wish all the people in the Philippines, not just the Muslims and Higaonon tribe, would only resort to war if left with no choice. Sometimes, all I can do is sing along to the lyrics of John Lennon’s Imagine.


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