President Rodrigo Duterte poses for a photo with legislators and negotiators in the peace process with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), as well as top officials from the Armed Forces of the Philippines and Philippine National Police, during the presentation of the Bangsamoro Organic Law (BOL) to the MILF at Malacañan Palace on Aug. 6, 2018. (Presidential photo)

Islamic scholars vow to help for BOL approval

DAVAO CITY – A group of Islamic scholars said it would be launching an information drive and would campaign for the approval of the Bangsamoro Organic Law (BOL) among voters in areas proposed for inclusion in the new regional entity.

This, as the National Ulama Conference of the Philippines (NUCP) urged for unity and preparation so that the “hearts and minds of the electorate” would be won towards the ratification of the BOL.

In a statement issued Sunday (October 7) but was only released to reporters here on Saturday (October 13), the NUCP described the BOL as “a milestone towards the realization of self-determination for the Bangsamoro.”

The 13-man group made up of ulama – or Islamic scholars and Muslim religious leaders – said the BOL is a means of achieving peace and development for the people of Mindanao.

It said that the information drive was aimed at helping voters have a better understanding of the law, which Congress had passed earlier this year.

The NUCP, whose members included Central Mindanao mufti Jaafar Ali and deputy mufti Abdulwakil Tanjilil of Western Mindanao and Palawan, also said it will stage a campaign for the BOL's “eventual acceptance by our people.”

The BOL aims to establish a new Bangsamoro entity that would replace the current Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM).

It proposes the inclusion of the provinces under the ARMM and several other areas in Lanao del Norte and North Cotabato. (PNA)