Completion of draft Bangsamoro Law lauded

The Philippine Star

MAGUINDANAO, Philippines – Local executives consider as another milestone  in the Mindanao peace process the submission to Malacañang on Monday of the draft Basic Bangsamoro Law (BBL) by the Bangsamoro Transition Commission.

Members of the commission, chaired by the chief negotiator of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front, Muhaquer Iqbal, will personally hand over to President Aquino the draft law.

The draft law will be presented to Congress for enactment to enable the creation of the Bangsamoro political entity through a plebiscite in areas the MILF wants to group together as a Moro homeland.

Maguindanao Gov. Esmael Mangudadatu, chairman of the provincial peace and order council, said he had asked his constituent-clerics in the local Islamic community to include in their supplications, during their five obligatory prayers on Sunday, the safe journey of the group that would deliver the draft BBL to President Aquino.

“We shall dedicate all our five obligatory prayers on Sunday, from dawn to nighttime, to the safe journey to Malacañang the next day of the BTC officials that would present the draft BBL to President Aquino,” Mangudadatu said.

The league of mayors in the province, in a statement, said members are delighted with the completion of the draft BBL, which, if enacted and ratified via a referendum, will replace the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) with a new Bangsamoro entity.

A senior member of the ARMM’s 24-seat Regional Assembly, Maguindanao 2nd District Assemblyman Khadafeh Mangudadatu,lauded  the completion of the draft BBL by the BTC.

“If it is enacted into law and, by its legal implication, my term of office gets shortened to pave the way for the creation of the Bangsamoro entity, I shall gladly step down for the sake of lasting peace in the Moro homeland,” Assemblyman Mangudadatu said.

“All of us elected regional officials are committed to help put up that entity,” the regional lawmaker said.

Iqbal said on Friday that members of different committees that helped draft the BBL made sure it would be acceptable to the Moro, Christian and non-Muslim indigenous people in the proposed Bangsamoro core territory.

“The March 31 deadline for the completion of the BBL was actually a self-imposed deadline set by us which we failed to beat because we saw to it that the BBL is carefully drafted,” Iqbal said.

Iqbal and members of the BTC will leave for Manila on Sunday to bring the draft BBL to Malacañang. - John Unson

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