MILF starts lobby to ensure swift passage of Bangsamoro Basic Law

By , on June 30, 2014


President Benigno S. Aquino III and Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak witness MILF Peace Panel chairman Mohagher Iqbal, GPH Peace Panel chairperson Professor Miriam Coronel-Ferrer and Malaysian facilitator Tengku Ghafar affix their signature to the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro in a ceremony at the Kalayaan grounds of the Malacañan Palace on Thursday (March 27). Also in photo are MILF chairman Al Haj Murad Ebrahim and Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process Secretary Teresita Quintos-Deles. (Photo by Gil Nartea/ Robert Viñas/ Rodolfo Manabat/ Malacañang Photo Bureau)
President Benigno S. Aquino III and Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak witness MILF Peace Panel chairman Mohagher Iqbal, GPH Peace Panel chairperson Professor Miriam Coronel-Ferrer and Malaysian facilitator Tengku Ghafar affix their signature to the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro in a ceremony at the Kalayaan grounds of the Malacañan Palace on Thursday (March 27). Also in photo are MILF chairman Al Haj Murad Ebrahim and Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process Secretary Teresita Quintos-Deles. (Photo by Gil Nartea/ Robert Viñas/ Rodolfo Manabat/ Malacañang Photo Bureau)

MANILA — Senior officials of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) are leaving nothing to chance in their pursuit to secure the immediate passage of the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) by going around to meet with members of Congress to seek their support once the proposal which would hopefully end the cycle of violence in Mindanao is formally submitted to Congress.

This was revealed on Sunday by House Committee on Labor Chair and Davao City Rep. Karlo Alexei Nograles as he admitted that MILF Vice-Chair Ghadzali Jaafar met with him to personally seek his support for the swift passage of the BBL, the draft of which is expected to be submitted by Malacanang to the House of Representatives in time for the opening of the Second Regular Session of the 16th Congress beginning July 28.

Nograles said Jaafar gave his assurance that the BBL will benefit not only the Bangsamoro people but the entire nation as well “because it will usher in a new era of peace and prosperity for Mindanao and the Philippines.”

Nograles said that in that meeting, he made his personal guarantee to Jaafar that he is definitely for the immediate passage of the BBL and even made his commitment that he would help in convincing his peers to also support the measure.

Nograles, who is also an ardent advocate of federalism, said that the BBL could set the stage for a stronger national movement in the pursuit for a Federal and Parliamentary form of government.

“I expressed my support for the BBL because if this is made possible, then such will be a precursor to a shift towards a Federal and Parliamentary form of government for our country which I as a Mindanawon fully support and advocate. What is good for the Bangsamoro people must be good for all Filipinos, equally, without distinction,” Nograles noted.

“I added that as people from Mindanao, we all share the concern that more development and more services must be poured into Mindanao, and because we are an island rich with resources then whatever we reap as a people must be poured back first for the development of our people; that is only fair and just; and that can only be achieved under a federal parliamentary form of government,” he added.

According to Nograles, the BBL is a “test case” for a federalized government and a probing ground for the Bangsamoro people in their ability to take the lead in bringing peace and progress in Mindanao.

“But the same must also be made equally available, beneficial and functional for the entire country,” Nograles stressed.