It is almost February!

The proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) is supposed to be submitted to Congress by the Bangsamoro Transition Commission (BTC) in July this year. It is five months away, and the BTC is not yet formally in place. The 21 commissioners have not yet received their appointment papers, although we were informed that their appointments, except one, were already signed by the president.

It is now almost February, and time is ticking away fast and it is not returning. Among Muslims, their time is their life; and a good Muslim life is one who spent wisely, productively, and morally.  It is a world view that anchors on what Allah says in the Qur’an “to seek the bounty of the earth after worshipping Him.”

This view contrasts with the secular world where time is equated with gold, because everything is reckoned with materials that glitter. Except for few, many bartered away their religiousness or moral life for secularism, hedonism, and pleasures.

But worldly life, devoid of spirituality or morality, is like living in an empty world. What is the purpose of life is never attempted to be addressed. It is just being merry (and eat all you can) for tomorrow we shall die; and nothing, comes out after. Consequently, loneliness is easily noticeable amongst men and women who spend their time drinking liquor, sipping tea or coffee or eating at roadsides in developed states.

Back on the BTC, we are not saying there is a deliberate plan to delay its formal launching. We understand there are hitches that required to be knitted well. Urgency is oftentimes hijacked by red tape of governance.

But under the Duterte administration red tape has been reduced to a very appreciable level. Movements of papers in offices, especially applying for licenses, have been very fast and efficient. There are lesser complaints now than before.

Be this as it may, there is really a need to launch the BTC now! While we have no reason to doubt the sincerity of President Rodrigo Roa Duterte to deliver the BBL and the delay is not deliberate, but the same is the consequence: The BTC is not formally constituted and the crafting of the BBL is delayed. It is like pardoning someone after an offense, but just the same harm has been done already.

It is for this reason that we urge government to travel the extra mile to ensure the immediate launching of the BTC. Any further delay will only force the BTC, once constituted, to rush up the crafting of the new BBL; something like someone haunted by a headless ghost. It is no joke to craft a proposed law, especially by a body where many of its members do not have experience in legislation. Like the previous BTC, there is only one member, who was a former congressman, of the new BTC.

We are informed that Secretary Jesus Dureza, the man who is directly handles this matter, is out of the country. He will not be back, report also said, until just before next month comes in.