MILF urged to reject diluted BBL and pursue independence

MILF urged to reject diluted BBL and pursue independence

LEAGUE OF BANGSAMORO ORGANIZATIONS

One society of Bangsamoroorganizations by 2024

Press Release

June 10, 2015

MILF urged to reject diluted BBL and pursue independence

A total of 509 leaders gathered in Cotabato City Sunday, June 7 to petition the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) to reject a watered down Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) and go back to original aspiration of the Bangsamoro people for an independent Bangsamoro state.

Dr. Ombra Imam, Deputy Secretary General for External Affairs of the League of Bangsamoro Organization (LBO) said his group has already officially submitted the petition to the offices of MILF Al Haj Murad Ebrahim, Vice Chairman Ghazali Jaafar, and chief negotiator Mohagher Iqbal.  According to Dr. Imam, copy of the petition was also furnished to Malacanang, Sec. Teresita Quintos-Deles, Senate President Franklin Drinlo, and House Speaker Feliciano Belmonte, Jr.

Convening the Bangsamoro Leaders Peace Summit (BLPS) organized by LBO, the delegates represented 137 organizations from various sectors of Bangsamoro (youth, women, professionals, religious, sultanates, academe, government officials, farmers, indigenous people, labours, transport, etc.) coming from different areas of ARMM and Cotabato.

The petitioners believed: “elimination of salient BBL provisions which are enshrined under the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro (CAB) would degrade the international reputation and integrity of the country and would be a great insult to the participating countries and international bodies in the GPH-MILF Peace Processes. Further, diluted BBL would destroy the faith and complacency of both the Filipino and the Bangsamoro societies towards peace negotiations and agreements and would breed another distrust and animosity among our societies leading to anarchy and protracted conflicts.”

BLPS delegates claimed that only agreed version of BBL would provide solution to the Bangsamoro Question within the framework of on-going GHP-MILF peace process. Otherwise, they “urge the MILF Leadership being the vanguard of the Bangsamoro People to reject the watered down BBL and pursue the original aspiration of the Bangsamoro for independence.”

Ustadza Aniza Taha, chairperson of Nurus-Salam, a group of woman sector, emotionally related that BBL was written BBL from the blood of thousands of martyrs who fought for the cause of Bangsamoro and she decried that a diluted BBL was completely unacceptable.

On his part, North Cotabato Board Member Kelly Antao opposed the unfavourable vote by Congress on opt-in provision because such is deprivation of the right of Bangsamoro people outside the core territory to become part of Bangsamoro government.

A leader from Lanao area faulted the Congress’ substitute bill for blatantly violating the provision of CAB on the aspect of exploration and control of strategic minerals.

Another civil society organization leader from Tawi-tawi expressed his dismay to the ignorance, arrogance and insensitive of Senators Marcos, Escudero, Santiago to the history of Bangsamoro by using the Constitution and political grandstanding to compromise the BBL.  He urged the attending leaders to unite in calling the MILF to lead the Bangsamoro in pursuit of Independence.

Guiamel Alim, chairperson of the Consortium of Bangsamoro Civil Society Organization, who served as guest speaker presented the prospects and challenges of BBL. He observed that BBL is now a hostage of 2016 election and many groups shared similar sentiment.

LBO_Summit Press Release