Religious leaders in Western Mindanao endorse BBL

Amidst the incident that happened in Marawi City brought about by the attack of the Maute group on government troops that started on May 23, the Moros in Western Mindanao that comprises Basilan, Zamboanga Peninsula, Sulu and Tawi-Tawi are fully supportive of the new Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL).

These people believe that the new BBL with promote peace and development in Mindanao which in turn will stop the growing restlessness in the region.

Imam Amil Bairulla, a community leader of Basilan said, if only the government is serious enough in solving the crisis in Mindanao it is now the high time for the House of Representatives to give peace a chance by way of passing the BBL.

He said one of the reasons why Marawi City is in flame right now is because of the high frustrations of the people especially the youths who expected that government will comply with all its commitments to the peaceful settlement of the conflict in Mindanao.

However, he also lambasted the Maute group for using civilian populated areas as battleground.

“This is against the teachings of Islam,” he said, adding that civilians should never the object of war.

Imam Abdulatif Yahya of Sulu echoed the same sentiment.

He urged the Duterte administration to pass the BBL without delay.

Imam Basaron Mu’min of Tawi Tawi told that the only way forward is to pass the BBL and create self-governance for the Moros in Mindanao.

The struggle of the Bangsamoro People for self-determination has been going on for the last 45 years. This struggle resulted to the creation of several Muslim Organizations that fought the government forces. 

Meanwhile, several armed groups in Western Mindanao, some are former members of the MNLF, are affiliating with the MILF.

But the MILF is taking it cautiously in deference to the agreement of the MNLF and MILF to form the Bangsamoro Coordination Forum (BCF).