IN PHOTO- (Fr. left to right)- Rep. Sahali of Tawi-Tawi, Rep. Sema of Maguindanao 1st District, and HoR Majority Floor Leader Fariñas of Ilocos Norte.

“Let us be united and strengthen our faith”- Reps Sema, Sahali

COTABATO CITY - “Let us be united as one Bangsamoro, and strengthen our faith in the Oneness of Almighty (Allah), that He may give us Taufiq that BBL- Alvarez version shall be finally pass by Congress.” 

This was the solemn prayer of Rep. Bai Sandra Sema of the 1st District of Maguindanao, and Rep. Ruby Sahali of the Lone District of Tawai-Tawi before a huge crowd of Bangsamoro who gathered here, chanting aloud “Allahu Akbar” that almost filled the four corners of the Mindanao State University Gymnasium during the last, and final consultation of the House of Representatives on BBL held Friday, March 16. 

Reps. Sema and Sahali expressed optimism that the BTC – Alvarez version would pass in Congress. Both representatives categorically said that they’re ready to face challenges from any group or individual or even from their colleagues in the Lower House who may oppose the passage of the BBL, and are ready to fight for the legitimate rights of the Bangsamoro for self-determination. 

Out of 12 resource speakers, not a single has a negative view on the proposed law. They came from different places, some were sectoral representatives, but all of them have one common objective, the immediate passage of BBL-Alvarez Version. 

They expressed full support to the passage of the BBL- BTC version without pre-condition, except, to address the decades-old armed conflict, and the current issue on extremism shall be resolved with the passage of BBL sponsored by House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez.

Unlike the public consultation of the House of Representatives in Tubod, Lanao del Norte on March 15, where the provincial government imposed a selective policy, and controlled the entries of many Bangsamoro inside the Tubod Gym, this one in Marawi City was conducted glitch-free, and very successful. 

In Lanao del Sur, the entire provincial LGU officials, municipal, and barangay LGU’s were supportive to the immediate passage of the BBL in Congress. 

They actively assisted their constituents in entering the gymnasium who came to personally express support, or ventilate their grievances (if any) to the house committee. The Marawi siege has awaken the Bangsamoro people, and admitted that nobody wins in war. 

The participants urged the House of Representatives, and the Senate to pass the BBL to address the Bangsamoro Question, and the current threat of extremism in the country.