Moro multi-sector leaders decry BBL non-passage

By , on February 1, 2016


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 – Bangsamoro multi-sector leaders on Monday expressed their disappointment over the non-passage of the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL).

In a press conference, One Bangsamoro Movement (1BANGSA) President and Lead Convenor Maulana “Alan” Balangi claimed that the landmark measure of the Aquino administration “is already an impossible dream.”

“While the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) offers the Muslim Minority in this country the recognition of our identity, protection of what remains of the Bangsamoro homeland, and the opportunity to exercise self-determination through a parliamentary form of government that will run in accordance with the Moro culture, faith, and way of life — after more than 50 public hearings, 200 hours of House Committee hearings, and almost a year of consultations, all these efforts were put to waste — thrown into the abyss of uncertainty and darkness,” said Balangi.

Balangi added that the Moro people were denied the required votes and even the quorum to deliberate the BBL, chiefly due to the Jan. 25, 2015 Mamasapano incident which impeded the BBL’s smooth sailing passage.

Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr. announced on Thursday (Jan. 28) that the BBL could not be passed in the current Congress, noting that even if the House of Representatives approved the bill, the Senate has yet to tackle its own version of the BBL.

For his part, Datu Abdul Rauf “Alex” Mamao, Royal House of Bayang President, proposed the idea of holding special sessions to enact the BBL.

“We still have a chance. If they (legislators) show their full sincerity, the President (Benigno Aquino III) has a prerogative to start a special session for the passage of the BBL,” said Mamao, referring to Article VI, Section 15 under the Constitution which stipulates that “the President may call a special session any time.”

The BBL, which is the enabling law of the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro (CAB), is in the period of amendments at the House of Representatives while the Senate is in the period of interpellation.

Balangi placed its hope to the next administration to fill in the gaps of the BBL and ensure its passage.

“We will not abandon its remaining hope for the next administration and fight for its realization,” he said.