Bangsamoro Ulama vow to support BOL on Plebiscite Day

COTABATO CITY – During the 2nd General Assembly of the Bangsamoro Ulama in Cotabato City on Tuesday, thousands of Ulama (Islamic Scholars) delegates from all over the country pledged to support the Bangsamoro Organic Law (BOL) during the plebiscite next year. 

With the theme “Unity and Sovereignty,” the said assembly of Islamic scholars is aimed to consult the Muslim religious leaders regarding their stand on the organic law passed by the Philippine Congress on July 27. 

Various speakers representing different provinces have manifested their unconditional support to BOL.

In her speech, Utadza Saguira Pendaliday said that BOL is a blessing to the Bangsamoro peoples. She urged everyone to unite and support this blessing. “So niaba a napantiali nu mga pagali tanu a mga Mujahiden na unga I niaba na kinandalumasayan nilan. Nia BOL ania na dala benal penduwa duwan tanu lon, ugaid na dala ukit a kataban tanu amengka di tanu mamag isa – isa’ (This achievement is the fruit of the struggle of our brother mujahideen, and we have no doubt about this BOL, but there is no way for us to win if we do not unite), said Pendaliday. 

“Pagenggaten ko so mga pagali ko labi labi den so mga babay sa mangeni ngeni tanu enduwa tanu sa mabagel, nasisita na aden bun galbeken tanu, pedsekaten ko sekanu sa rumigister tanu andu I monitor tanu su mga registration tanu kagina bilang isa a Muslim na nawagiban tanu sa ka suporta sa niaba a limo salkitanu, pamikalan tanu I tumaban so Yes sa mauma ania a plebisito”  (I invite my beloved sisters to pray very hard, but we have to do something, I encourage everybody to register in the COMELEC, further, I urge you to monitor your registration because as a Muslim, we are obliged to support this blessing, we will make sure that the Yes vote will win in the plebiscite Insallah), Pendaliday added.

Sheikh Alimudin Amolan, from Biwang Sultan Kudarat province said that their province  though not part of the Bangsamoro territory but they support BOL whole heartedly.  

 “Apia yani kaaden I di kena kami sakop nu Bangsamoro na pedsupurtan nami sa BOL sa sobla pan sa Yes”, (Even for the fact that we are not part of the Bangsamoro territory, our support to BOL is a resounding yes), Sheikh Amolan said. 

 He also reminded everyone about the Massacre of more than one thousand Muslims inside a Palimbang Mosque in 1974. 

Sheikh Paisal Pagalad of North. Cotabato was very thankful to Allah because of the opportunity to gather the Ulama and Aleema from different areas both inside and outside the Bangsamoro areas. 

We will unite and we are one with MILF to support what we achieved. We have gone through for almost forty years now. It is very saddening that the blood of the martyrs had to be shed for the cause. It is for this reason that we in North Cotabato province pledged to support BOL, and the leadership of the MILF Chairman Al Hadj Murad Ibrahim, Sheikh Pagalad said. 

In behalf of the Ulama in North Cotabato province, we are united to stand with the verse of the Qur’an which says Wa’tasimo bihablillahi guiamiah, wala tafarako... (“And together hold on fast with the rope of Allah and be not divided”), he said

Al Haj Murad Ebrahim, Chairman of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) together with some members of the Central Committee graced the occasion. 

In his message, Al Haj Murad emphasized the very important role of the Ulama that they have to play. He said that the Mujahideen, the Bangsamoro Islamic Armed Forces (BIAF) will be decommissioned soon. And that the Ulama will take the place of Mujahideen to fight to make high the Supreme word of Allah. But their weapons are their knowledge in Islam, the war now is in Da’wah (Islamic Call) 

Al Haj Murad appeals for a united support to BOL because according to him, the law will provide something that Bangsamoro people can get better situation out of this milestone. “We don’t have to be disunited because after all this is for everybody, this is not only for the benefits one group, if it will be established, it will benefits everybody, this is why I am inviting everybody to unite and support this law “  

One of the opportunities that he has mentioned is the block grant which is amounting to more or less 62 billion pesos to be automatically released by the national government annually, aside from the block grant, Special Development Fund (SDF) amounting 50 million pesos for ten years that if well-manage the war ravaged Bangsamoro areas will catch-up with its neighboring areas 

The Revenue sharing of 70 – 30 percent in favor of Bangsamoro is also another gain in the fiscal autonomy, he added

On the political aspect, Al Haj Murad said that ministerial form of government is nearer to the Islamic system of government where the members of the parliament served as the decision makers. It’s just like Maj’lis Shura, that undertakes the process of consultation with its members, the Al Haj Murad said.

As long as we will be able to govern properly for the betterment of the Bangsamoro and the entire areas of the Bangsamoro, in shaa Allah, we will achieve peace and development in the Bangsamoro region, Al Haj Murad added.

We have achieved the freedom to implement justice according to the Shariah, there is a very strong provision of Shari’ah in the BOL. 

Even during the time of the late Amir Chairman Salamat Hashim, he said that we don’t have to discuss Islamic state because our people don’t understand it. But we have to strengthen the Da’wah, we implement it within ourselves, to our family and to our community as a whole 

Al Haj Murad added that Jihad or armed struggle is obligatory if the Da’wah is not possible. If Da’wah is possible, if there is freedom in Da’wah, we will set aside the armed struggle. We are now in the repositioning. We now shift from fighting to give way to Da’wah). If we compare with other religions, we have a huge number of Da’eh (Sing. Islamic preacher). Having more than five thousand preachers in this hall who are knowledgeable in Islam, if we perform Da’wah, In shaa Allah, we will succeed in making high the supreme word of Allah. In inviting people to Islam because we have a space to do the job he added.

In BOL we have the Shari’ah we will now put behind our armed struggle. Our BIAF will be decommissioned, and you are now the BIAF of the MILF but your weapons are not arms but Da’wah to make high the supreme word of Allah. 

We cannot achieve the objectives of Jihad in killing innocent civilians as some misinterpreted the true essence of Jihad, they thought that Jihad is when you explode bombs that will hurt everyone including the innocent civilians. This is why we are inviting our Ulama, if you want to prevail the true Islamic state we will stop violence, join us in this journey, Al Haj Murad said.

He admitted that provisions of the Shari’ah in the BOL has a limitations, but the Chairman argued that Shari’ah cannot just be implemented until no established Islamic state. He cite an example of Cotabato City during the time of the Late Amir Ustadz Salamat Hashim when he said that Shari’ah cannot be implemented in Cotabato City because there is no Islamic society, but they were able to implemented Shari’ah in Camp Abubakar because it was once an Islamic society.

The consolidated manifesto was read by Sheikh Said Salendab, the Secretary General of Hayyatul Ulama. The said manifesto is a consolidation of all manifestos submitted by each provinces supporting the BOL, and the leadership of the MILF. It was then handed over to the leadership of MILF for their consideration.