MANILA — House Ad Hoc Committee on the Bangsamoro Basic Law on Tuesday welcomed the full support of the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) group led by Chairman Datu Abul Khayr Alonto to the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro and the BBL as its legal iteration.
The panel chairman and Cagayan de Oro City Rep. Rufus Rodriguez said that a statement signed by Alonto and Moro Islamic Liberation Front chair Al Haj Murad Ebrahim expressed a reiteration of MNLF’s support to the “full implementation of the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro particularly the Framework Agreement on the Bangsamoro and all its annexes as published in the MNLF Declaration of Unity at Lama Mardeka published on March 18, 2014.”
Alonto is a founding leader of the MNLF and first vice chairman of the original MNLF Central Committee. Early last year, he was elected by 35 out of the 39 surviving members of the original Central Committee as their head, and represents one of the three groups of the MNLF.
He said that the statement of support of the MNLF comes ahead of a scheduled public hearing of the Ad Hoc Committee on the BBL tomorrow [Jan. 21] in which MNLF members were invited to attend to ensure that their concerns are heard and serve as inputs to the drafting of an inclusive law.
“We welcome the support of the MNLF-Chairman Alonto group,” Rodriguez said. “It has always been our position that the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law is not only for the MILF, but is for all Bangsamoro, all Muslims, Christians and Lumads, and all other groups and sectors.”
Meanwhile, Rodriguez said the statement also cited that both Moro fronts agree to “continue working together to foster strong Unity, Solidarity and Brotherhood as one Bangsamoro people.”
Just last year, the MILF and MNLF, under the auspices of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, formally activated the Bangsamoro Cooperation Forum, a mechanism for coordination between the two fronts “towards achieving the aspiration of the Bangsamoro people towards just and lasting peace and peaceful resolution of their problems.”
The statement, he said also called on the rest of the Filipino nation to “rally behind the President and Congress… for the immediate passage of the Bangsamoro Basic Law and the establishment of the Bangsamoro government.”
The BBL is expected to be passed by Congress by March 15, followed by a plebiscite in the envisioned core territory towards the entrenchment of the Bangsamoro political entity.
Also present during the signing of the statement were members of the MNLF pioneer Top 90 group with their four succeeding batches, and members of the Bangsa Bae Women Medical Corps.