NEWS




14March
Photo: MILF Media Office

MILF Chair urges Philippine Congress to pass CAB-compliant BBL

Al Haj Murad Ebrahim, Chairman of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) Central Committee, reiterated the call of the Bangsamoro people to the Philippine Congress, the Senate and House of Representatives, to pass the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) that was crafted by the Bangsamoro Transition Commission (BTC), a proposed legislation compliant to the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro (CAB).

In an official statement released early this March, the MILF leader said, “As far as the MILF and the BTC is concerned, we have ensured that the crafted BBL is fully constitutional and compliant to the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro and the GPH-MNLF (Moro National Liberation Front) Peace Agreement.”

The MILF statement followed after Senator Juan Miguel Zubiri delivered his sponsorship speech for Senate Bill No. 1717 or BBL on February 28 where he urged fellow senators to pass the legal measure that will pave the way for the establishment of new autonomous political entity that will replace the current Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao.

“We are quite optimistic that the BBL as crafted by the new BTC will pass Congress however the main challenge is whether the BBL that will be passed by Congress will be the exact version that is crafted by the BTC,” Chairman Murad said. 

“As far as the MILF is concerned, the only acceptable to us is the BBL to us is the BBL compliant to the peace agreements,” he said.

The MILF chief said that the MILF position is let the BBL pass Congress and Senate. Then should there will be a provision later on that will be declared by the Supreme Court as unconstitutional, the Front, as provided in the CAB, is willing to park it and recommend for amendment to the constitution. 

“So this is the official agreement we have, we hope that this would be followed,” Chairman Murad said.

The CAB is a peace deal signed by the Government of the Philippines and MILF in 2014 after almost two decades of peace talks. 

The CAB provides the passage of the BBL which is the sole responsibility of the Philippine Congress.

In respective public hearings recently conducted by the House of Representatives and Senate in different parts of Mindanao, various Moro civil society groups expressed similar position- urging the lawmakers to pass CAB-compliant BBL.

The MILF leadership is optimistic that the proposed Bangsamoro law would not be watered down. 

The Front had also warned that the failure of BBL passage shall encourage some Moro youth to join extremist groups.