BBL is ‘best chance for peace,’ says MNLF
Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) on Friday affirmed its support for the passage of the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL), calling it the “best chance” to achieve peace and autonomy in Muslim Mindanao.
In a statement, MNLF led by Datu Abul Khayr Alonto said the proposed Bangsamoro entity would embody all the ideals that the Moro people have been pushing for in years.
“Ang BBL ang ating pinakamabisang batas upang maisakatuparan ang maayos at tunay na kasarinlan o otonomiya na hangad ng Bangsamoro sa nakaraang ilang dekada,” Alonto said.
The MNLF chair also urged lawmakers to “open their hearts and minds” to the supposed benefits of the BBL not only to Mindanao but also the whole country.
“Our lawmakers have the historic role to pass this draft BBL, which is inclusive of all the concerns of stakeholders in the Bangsamoro and can end the armed conflict in the south,” he said, adding the BBL would supposedly build on the gains of the present Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao.
Alonto also warned that nonpassage of the BBL may prompt members of Moro Islamic Liberation Front to “lose faith” in the peace talks.
“There is no alternative to the BBL,” he said. “They committed to transform into civilian life when the Bangsamoro is created. But this will only happen if the agreement is fully realized.”
Alonto asserted the same sentiment in an interview with Radyo Inquirer, adding MNLF had been one with MILF in maintaining the “spirit of inclusivity” of the peace agreement.
“The leadership of the MNLF has always been united in our declaration of support to the MILF negotiations (with the government),” he said.
The Moro separatist group MNLF is currently divided into factions—one supporting Alonto and the other siding with former Cotabato City Mayor Muslimin Sema. A faction also remains loyal to MNLF founder Nur Misuari.
Asked if his faction was willing to be under the leadership of MILF in the case of BBL’s passage, Alonto said the Bangsamoro entity was for the “benefit of all stakeholders.”
The Senate recently conducted a public hearing on the BBL in Zamboanga, with the Zamboanga City government and sultanate of Sulu opposing their inclusion in the proposed Bangsamoro entity.
The Congress is eyeing to pass the BBL, which seeks to replace ARMM with a new Bangsamoro entity, by June.
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