The aborted BBL is a “milestone law”: Moro traditional leader

Expressing disappointment over the non-passage of the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) a Maguindanaon traditional leader hoped the measure was passed because it is a “milestone law” that could lead toward a peaceful and developed Bangsamoro region.

“Personally, I was disappointed that the BBL was not calendared as a priority law” Sultan Tungko Saikol, Sultan Dikaya sa Kabuntalan, said in his message during the 42nd Regional Qur’an Reading Competition-Socsargen Area, held in General Santos City on February 20, 2016.

“The BBL is a very important piece of legislation we all looked forward to having been passed…for me it’s a milestone law,” he pointed out.

Sultan Saikol pointed out “If only it was passed, that would be a remarkable achievement of the Government of the Philippines (GPH) and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF).”

The BBL is the legal translation of the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro (CAB) which is the summary of all the agreements between the GPH and MILF.

The proposed law was drafted by the Bangsamoro Transition Commission, a 15-man body created by the Aquino Administration.

The MILF conveyed in its official statement issued on February 18 that there is “deep disappointment and grave dismay” in the entire membership of the organization over the non-passage of measure in the Houses of Congress the Philippine government.

The House of Representatives adjourned sessions early this month without passing the proposed law.
Despite the stalled legislation of the draft BBL, the GPH and the MILF peace panels said they will continue to pursue the peace process and preserve the gains of the 17 years peace negotiations.

Sultan Saikol suggests, “It should be calendared as a priority law so that we will have a law that will bring realization to the desire of the Bangsamoro people for self- determination.”

MILF Peace Panel Chair Mohagher Iqbal hinted that either the BBL can be re-filed in the next Congress or a basic law that is faithful to “letters and spirit of the CAB” will be crafted by the BTC.

Sultan Saikol is one of the active traditional leaders of Region 12 who has been supportive to civic, cultural and religious activities of Bangsamoro people in the Socsargen area. 

He serves as the Regional Executive Director of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources-Region 12.