A GROUP of Muslim businessmen, religious leaders and sultanates sought on Wednesday the passage of the draft Bangsamoro Basic Law, called on Christians and Muslims to unite, and urge lawmakers to approve the bill.
At a news conference in Quezon City, Allan Balangi of 1Bangsa called on the Senate and Congress to give much attention to the approval of the new Bangsamoro enabling law toward the attainment of a long lasting peace and genuine political autonomy in Mindanao.
Royal Sultanate Faizal Benaning Bansao of Batangas, for his part, said with President Rodrigo Duterte’s executive order that expanded the Bangsamoro Transition Commission from 15 membership to 21 membership, the draft BBL could be passed into law “on the last week of May or before the President’s [second] State-of-the-Nation Address [in July].”
The crafting of the enabling law is part of the implementation of the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro signed between the government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front in March 2014.
The BTC got stuck in Congress under the Aquino administration due to lack of quorum and violations of the 1987 Constitution.
“Any changes in the BBL enabling law must be anchored on a win-win solution. We will meet halfway to fine-tune it,” Bansao said.
The group that called themselves members of the Bangsamoro National Coordinating Council said the draft BBL is supported by the President himself, Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez and Senate President Aquilino Pimentel III, all from Mindanao, and “too many other lawmakers.”
“If the law is passed, we will police our own ranks. Muslims are not the problem, but they are the solution,” Bansao said.
Datu Raisonel Magangcong of the Federation of Bangsamoro Chamber of Commerce and Industry of the Philippines said their Muslim brethren in Metro Manila and the other parts of Luzon as well as overseas Filipino Muslims would choose to go back to Mindanao once the proposed BBL would be passed and implemented, and that Mindanao’s overall economic development would be attained.
“Billionaires will come (here) to invest their money in Mindanao,” he said.