House Ad Hoc committee chair on BBL says MILF needs to comply with the 3 demands

By , on February 25, 2015


MILF Chief Peace Negotiator Mohagher Iqbal at Thursday's (Feb 12, 2015) Senate hearing on the Mamasapano clash (Photo courtesy of Sen. Grace Poe's Facebook page)
MILF Chief Peace Negotiator Mohagher Iqbal at Thursday’s (Feb 12, 2015) Senate hearing on the Mamasapano clash (Photo courtesy of Sen. Grace Poe’s Facebook page)

MANILA — The Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) needs to comply with the three demands or conditions of the majority of lawmakers who are members of the House Ad Hoc committee to convince them that the Muslim rebels are sincere to pursue peace.

The panel chairman and Cagayan de Oro City Rep. Rufus Rodriguez said on Tuesday that “it is all or nothing” that legislators may decide to support again Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL).

The demands made by lawmakers were to return the stolen firearms of Special Action Force (SAF) and their personal belongings; get and surrender Basit Usman at all cost and the third is the surrendering of MILF fighters who will be identified by the Department of Justice who were responsible and killed mercilessly dying SAF members on January 25, 2015 in Mamasapano, Maguindanao.

“I have relayed this information to MILF Vice Chairman Al Haj Murad and Peace Negotiator Mohagher Iqbal when we met in Jakarta, Indonesia during the continuation of their peace conference.

He said the move is confidence building measure and regain the lost respect of lawmakers who admitted that they were dismayed to the actions made by MILF on the ground against the 44 members of SAF.

In the same press conference, Rodriguez said they take their cue to the reports of the Board of Inquiry and the DOJ who vowed to finish their investigation before the end of February.

“We might resume the hearing by March 3 or 4 not to vote for the measure but to study and go line by line in the investigation reports,” Rodriguez explained.

He admitted that if they will ask for a vote, he is afraid that he cannot get the needed support for the measure.

“All 75 members of the committee will decide on the fate of the BBL and to date, majority of them have relayed information that they are not inclined to support the measure,” the chairman stressed claiming that those who informed him are members of political or geographic blocs.

But once the MILF complied with the three conditions, Rodriguez assured that those who have second thoughts will go back to support BBL.

Meanwhile, Rodriguez said that President Benigno Aquino III when they were invited in Malacanang did not give any timeline when to pass BBL.

“The president was very candid that he wanted to pass the measure during his term and I am the one who gave the timeline that before we adjourn sine die, the measure is expected in the plenary,” he told House reporters.

The veteran lawmaker said they will try their best to toss BBL to the plenary on May hoping that they can finish it by June before sine die of the second regular session of 16th Congress.

However, he stressed that if MILF will not comply with the three conditions, the measure might not reach plenary because they will not get the needed support from its members.