BTC invites, enlightens Christian leaders on BBL

The Bangsamoro Transition Commission (BTC) invited non-Muslim sectoral leaders in Cotabato City, Tacurong City, Kidapawan City and adjacent municipalities of North Cotabato in a dialogue to listen to their opinions and clarifications on the proposed new BBL. 

Pete Marquez, Chairmen of the BTC Task Force on non-Muslim leaders organized the said consultation.  

We appreciated very much this public consultation held for the first time to directly listen from the mouth of the participants of their fears, aspirations and concerns, said Pete Marquez, a former president of Metro Kutawato Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

BTC Chairman Ghazali Jaafar and other commissioners formally met the group in an en banc consultation to clarify some contentious issues in the proposed BBL and the ministerial form of government for Bangsamoro held recently at Sultan Kudarat, Maguindanao. 

Though the commissioners were not in quorum the BTC Chairman Jaafar pursued the dialogue-consultation due to its significance.

Sr. Linda C. Misug, (OND) Oblates of Notre Dame asked: How will the Shari’a Justice System applied in the proposed BBL? Commissioner Atty. Firdausi Abbas cited PD 1083, otherwise known as Muslim Filipino Personal Laws in the Philippines where Shari’a justice system is focused only on civil case. 

Whereas in the proposed BBL it included criminal case (not a capital punishment) applied only to Muslims. Unless, the non- Muslim male or female are married to Muslims and embraced Islam before their marriage and solemnized in accordance with the Muslim rites, then Shari’a Law can be applied to them. 

Comm. Maisara Latiph elaborated further that Shari’a Justice System would never suppress the religious rights of non-Muslim. Notre Dame School will never be affected in the proposed BBL. 

BTC Chairman Jaafar assured them that Freedom of Expression will never be suppressed in the proposed Bangsamoro government. The Bangsamoro ministerial form of government is a democratic and not an Islamic government, Jaafar stressed.  

Pastor Troy Cordero raised clarifications on the fears and apprehensions of non-Muslim sectors that once the Bangsamoro government is established, their Basic Rights, their religious practices, drinking liquor, celebrating birthdays and other forms of Christian traditional practices will be suppressed, and on the alleged issue that all real properties of non-Muslims like lands, houses, and vehicles are shall be confiscated from therm.

“There’s no truth on this issue. That’s why we invited you here to have a dialogue and consultation to enlighten you on the non-sense issues and perceptions or speculations circulated by irresponsible person who know nothing about the BBL and the noblest objectives of the Bangsamoro,” BTC Chairman Jaafar explained.

What we need is your utmost support and cooperation to attain a dignified and lasting peace in Mindanao.

The Oblates of Notre Dame leaders clarified the mandates of the educational system in the proposed BBL if there’s an assurance of support to the current private institution like the Notre Dame Schools. 

Commissioner Dr. Susana Anayatin cited some provisions of the proposed BBL that ensures the protection of educational system of the current private institutions existing in the Bangsamoro. There are some sections added to the provisions of HB 4994 which strengthens further the educational system in the proposed new BBL.