Maranaos urge gov’t to make BBL as template for federalism

Maranaos from Lanao del Sur and Lanao del Norte urged the government to make the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) as template for federalism, a form of government President Rodrigo Duterte is pushing as a solution to Mindanao conflict.

In a report posted at a social media by Drieza Lininding, an active peace advocate from Marawi, participants from the two Lanao provinces echoed their appeal during the General Assembly organized by Ranao Confederation for Peace supported by various civil society organizations held in Marawi City last Monday (Aug 15).

The BBL, a measure drafted by the Bangsamoro Transition Commission, is one of the fruits of more than 17 years of peace talks between the Government of the Philippines (GPH) and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF).

It is also considered as a solution for the long clamor of Bangsamoro people for self-governance.

The Philippine Congress however failed to pass the legislation in the 16th Congress before the stint of former President Benigno Aquino III ended.

Speaking in behalf of the Front’s leadership, MILF Vice-chairman Aleem Pangalian Solaiman, underscored the importance of passing first the BBL before the country will go for federalism, the report said.

Solaiman said shifting to federalism requires longer and thorough debates. He added that the BBL which only applies to Moro dominated areas of Mindanao just needs passage by Congress.

Once the BBL is passed and approved through a plebiscite, the Autonomous Region In Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) will be deemed abolished and will be replaced by autonomous Bangsamoro political entity with more political and fiscal powers.

Agakhan "Binladen" M. Sharief , a Moro peace activist  and Chairman of the Bangsamoro National Movement for Peace and Development (BNMPD) recalled the promise of President Duterte during the campaign that “he will make the BBL as Template for Federalism.

Bangsamoro Development Agency Chairman Dr. Saffullah Diparuan also shared the same view. Dipatuan believes that the establishment of Bangsamoro government will spur development not only within but even outside the Bangsamoro territory.

The organizers also consider holding forum on BBL and Federalism in the coming days.