Mindanao groups urge gov’t to fast-track Bangsamoro Basic Law | Inquirer News

Mindanao groups urge gov’t to fast-track Bangsamoro Basic Law

/ 06:42 PM August 14, 2014

The signing Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro. INQUIRE FILE PHOTO

DAVAO CITY, Philippines—Grassroots organization leaders from different parts of Mindanao are calling on the government to treat with urgency the passing of the Bangsamoro Basic Law, saying they’ve witnessed the people’s misery in the last four decades of war and are looking forward to the prospect of development to bring about by lasting peace.

Prof. Muhammad Taha Usop, convenor of the groups that gathered at the Bangsamoro Leadership and Management Institute (BLMI) in Simuay, Sultan Kudarat over the weekend, in an interview on Wednesday, said 64 leaders from Mindanao, including those from Basilan, Jolo and Tawi-Tawi, signed a Simuay declaration, “urging the Philippine government to waste no time in undertaking the necessary processes leading to the enactment of the Bangsamoro Basic Law.”


“When ratified, the Basic Law will serve as charter of the Bangsamoro government which is expected to embody the Moro aspiration for genuine self-governance,” the declaration, signed on August 10 at the BLMI, said.


“The Moro people deserve no less than a lasting solution to the Bangsamoro Question that has underpinned the rebellion in Mindanao for the last four decades,” the declaration said.

“We therefore expect that the Basic Law that comes out of Congress will reflect the Moro aspiration for self-determination. At the very least, it should be consistent with the letter and spirit of the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro,” it added.

The grassroots leaders also invoked the “strong sense of political justness” of the members of Congress in considering the passage of the BBL. They also asked the President to inform the people of the importance of the peace process not only to the Bangsamoro people but also to the country as a whole.

“We call on President Benigno Aquino III to mobilize the entire government to inform the country about the importance of the peace process not only to the Bangsamoro people but for the entire Philippines,” the declaration said.

“We pray that President Aquino and MILF Chair Al Haj Murad Ebrahim maintain their unwavering stance for the peace process, and continue to keep and nurture the partnership they have built in pursuit of a just resolution of the Moro conflict.”

Although the leaders said they understood some issues arising from the BBL, they expressed hope these would not “diminish” the commitment of the government and the MILF to push for the establishment of the Bangsamoro government.


The group said they have been looking forward to the establishment of the Bangsamoro Transition Authority by 2015, and the regular Bangsamoro government by 2016.


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