MANILA – An alternative to the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) has been proposed by a group of Muslims and non-Muslims in Mindanao, in hopes of achieving peace, given the setback in the passing of the BBL.
Eid Kabalu, former spokesman for the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) and now vice-chairman of the recently created Bangsamoro Transition Council (BTC), said that there group is offering an alternative solution to the BBL.
“We need to adopt a new strategy. We at the council are offering an alternative solution. We are not into war but we will be moving and we will take our actions through peaceful means with the involvement of all sectors, including the Lumad,” Kabalu said.
“With all the professionals with us right now, we will organize not only the Muslims in Mindanao but also the non-Muslims,” he added.
Kabalu pointed out that President Aquino should not fast track the passage of the BBl, as there are still some provisions which must first be amended, because they are not in line with the Constitution.
“P-Noy (Aquino) cannot do it alone. It’s a big blunder. I don’t know what happened to the negotiation, why the MILF accepted the offer. In fact twice they met in Tokyo (Japan) and then many underground meetings and backdoor talks and then that resulted in the signing of the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro (CAB),” he said.
In specific, he referenced Article X Section 15 of the 1987 Philippine Constitution, which says that autonomous regions in Muslim Mindanao and in the Cordilleras shall be created, and that these shall be made up of provinces, cities, municipalities and geographical areas with shared historical and cultural heritage, economic and social structures, “and other relevant characteristics within the framework of this Constitution and the national sovereignty as well as territorial integrity of the Republic of the Philippines.”
“We are not pursuing independence, but we are for the amendment of the Constitution,” he said.
Kabalu also expressed his doubts that the passage of the BBL can still be smoothly carried out within the remaining time of the Aquino administration, especially after the fallout from the botched Mamasapano operation of January 25, in which 22 SAF commandos were massacred in a violent confrontation with the MILF.