Looking through each political party’s roster for national elective positions, one can only pick out very few Bangsamoro candidates among the ranks, or even non-Muslim candidates who openly show support to the Muslims in this country. It can even be observed that the candidates in question may not even be considered as popular owing to the fact that they may be new players or are not that known outside of their hometown circles, or have expressed opinions and political leanings before that may not have sat well with the non-Muslim mainstream. Such may make voters even in the BARMM wonder, why did they even consider running in a race where the expected victors come from the ranks of the famous, influential, and possessing th benefit of a well-oiled political machinery?
It is a fact that the voting public across the country has expressed its fatigue and dissatisfaction with the current state of affairs, and no doubt, is eager to cast its vote next year. The Bangsamoro is no exception, and like his counterparts in the rest of the archipelago, is determined to use his vote in the collective attempt to choose better leaders for the next six years. With the BARMM still in its infancy, it is essential that the newly chosen leaders at the national level are supportive of it and its future.
Some of the political mavericks mentioned earlier happen to have leanings supportive of BARMM and the Bangsamoro people. Should the Bangsamoro voters, then, put up a gamble and support these candidates with their votes in the 2022 polls?
It will indeed be a gamble, but if the Bangsamoro people will be viewed by candidates with more respect and consider them as a force to be reckoned with every election, the former would have to form the solid “Muslim Vote.” The Muslim Vote will not only represent the Muslims on the country as voters and hence, political beings; it will also present them as voters who know what they rightfully want and will collectively vote for anyone who will fight for them in the Congress, Senate, and even up to the halls of Malacañang. Once accomplished, the Muslim Vote and the Bangsamoro voter will no longer be regarded as insignificant and unworthy of attention. In return, such will be a great victory for the Bangsamoro people who have suffered decades of conflict, neglect, poverty, and inequity. It should be really given a good try. PMT