On BBL: Mindanao lawmakers urge Congress to unite for peace

After President Rodrigo Duterte certified the urgent approval of the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL), the House of Representatives immediately proceeded for interpellation. The House started the period of interpellation on Friday, May 29, 2018, while the Senate is working on the amendments to the measure.

Five representatives from Mindanao presented House Bill 6475, the act seeking to provide the Basic Law for the Bangsamoro while urging their colleagues to help unite the nation.

“The time is ripe for our stories as Bangsamoro, as Mindanaoans, to be told on our own view point,” Peace, Reconciliation, and Unity Committee Vice Chair Amihilda Sangcopan said in her sponsorship speech.

Sangcopan, along with Deputy Speaker Bai Sandra Sema; Peace, Reconciliation and Unity Committee Chair Ruby Sahali; Committee on Muslim Affairs Chair Mauyag Papandayan; and Local Government Committee Chair Pedro Acharon, delivered separate sponsorship speeches for the proposed measure.

“I request each and every member of this House of Representatives to look into your hearts and seek an answer to the problem of national and cultural divide that has plague the republic for 400 years,” Papandayan said.

Sema urged her colleagues to grab the “opportunity to make things right” for the Bangsamoro people.

Sahali called the vote for the BBL as a vote for the entire nation. “The success of the Bangsamoro is the success of the Filipino people, because we, the Bangsamoro people, are an indispensable part of our national identity,” Sahali said.

Acharon said he believes the passage of the BBL will have implications on the peace and security in the country. “All of us have only one common objective, and that is to stop the cycle of violence and bring just and lasting peace,” Acharon said.

The BBL is the political and legislative track of the Comprehensive Agreement of the Bangsamoro (CAB) signed between the government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front in 2014.

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