‘Create 2 federal states in Muslim Mindanao for peace’
With hope dying on the passage of the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL), an ex-governor has proposed a drastic solution to achieve the “elusive peace” in southern Philippines: Amend the Constitution to allow the creation of two federal states in Muslim Mindanao.
This was the formula proposed by former Tawi-Tawi Gov. Al Tillah, which he presented at a media forum in Quezon City on Saturday.
Tillah suggested that two federal states in Muslim Mindanao could be created—one for the island provinces of Sulu, Tawi-Tawi, Basilan and the “environs of Zamboanga,” and another for the landlocked provinces of Maguindanao, Lanao del Sur and neighboring provinces.
“This to me is the only viable solution to end the war in Mindanao,” he said.
Tillah expressed the hope the Philippines “will go with the federal system” and “amend the Constitution” through a constitutional convention.
“This government thinks the 1987 Cory Constitution is the Bible, the Quran. It is not. The United States Constitution has been amended several times. Why is it not possible to amend the Constitution… to serve the needs and times of our people and country?” Tillah said.
Tillah said the BBL—a key feature of the peace agreement the Aquino administration signed with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front and which seeks to create an expanded Muslim region in Mindanao to replace the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao—can only achieve peace “to some extent, but not totally.”
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