Moro women urge Congress to pass BBL

Moro Women in Southern Mindanao are urging Congress to pass the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) that would establish a Moro homeland on the war-torn but resource-rich island, said a report by PDI on February 19.

During a public hearing on the proposed law in Davao City on Saturday, the Bangsamoro Women Organization said that while the Davao provinces were not included in the core area of the proposed Moro homeland, its passage would still benefit the region, PDI also said in its report.

 “We believe that the BBL is the antidote to prevent violent extremism in the Bangsamoro community. As Bangsamoro women, we believe that our children are always and at all times prone to the effects of terrorism,” said Jobayra Tandong, spokesperson for the Bangsamoro Women Organization in the region.

The BBL is a legal instrument that will implement the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro (CAB) signed between the Government of the Philippines (GPH), and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) in 2014. 

The proposed law also contains some provisions of the 1996 Final Peace Agreement signed between the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF), and the Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GRP).

Once enacted by congress, and ratified in a plebiscite, a new political entity called Bangsamoro will replace the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM).

The hearing in Davao City was conducted by the House committees on local government, Muslim affairs and peace and reconciliation.

South Cotabato Rep. Pedro Acharon Jr. said the hearing was held in Davao even if the city or any area of the Davao provinces would not be part of the new Bangsamoro territory to get the general pulse of the Moro population, the PDI article also said.

Agakhan Sharief, chair of the Bangsamoro National Movement for Peace and Development, earlier said the Moro people wanted no other law passed but the one proposed by the BTC.

Tandong agreed, saying the one written by the BTC was the most acceptable version to the Moro people.