via SSRN
February 23, 2021 | Michael Henry Yusingco

Recognizing the huge responsibility of the BTA in shaping the Bangsamoro Parliament, this paper discusses the idea of a deliberative parliamentary culture and asserts that adopting this will facilitate the fulfilment of genuine and meaningful autonomy for the BARMM. The discussion first highlights the vision of the BOL and the BTA for the Bangsamoro Parliament to be a collegial and deliberative governing body. A discussion on deliberative democracy theory follows, showing how deliberative principles should influence the preparatory process leading up to the election of the first regular Bangsamoro Parliament in 2022. Finally, the notion of mutual respect, a key element of democratic deliberation, and how it will ensure the Bangsamoro Parliament remains consistent with the original intent of current Bangsamoro leaders and stays true to the self-determination aspirations of the Bangsamoro people, will be discussed.


via SSRN
January 10, 2021 | Michael Henry Yusingco

The digitalization of almost every aspect of civic life has brought forth a new democratic milestone with many people now having real-time access to information, to cultures beyond borders, and to discourses happening virtually any place in the world. This hyper-connectivity of people in the digital space has likewise put a new spotlight on the importance of constitutional rights such as free speech and press freedom, and its ability to foster community political engagement. Governments must keep social media a safe and vibrant space for citizen engagement and thus, must institutionalize measures against the deployment of online disinformation. To ensure the integrity of parliamentary democracy in the case of BARMM, three courses of action are proposed: the first being a youth-led comprehensive campaign on proper digital citizenship to empower social media users in the BARMM. The second is establishing clear guidelines in the soon-to-be enacted Bangsamoro Civil Code on the use of social media by government agencies and personnel in the region. And third is instituting prescriptions against disinformation in the impending Bangsamoro Electoral Code.