Fate of BBL depends on Moro people’s assertion – MILF peace negotiator

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DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 1 December) – The future of the Bangsamoro Basic Law depends on the assertion of the Moro people for their rights, a member of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front said Monday.

“Continue your assertion for the next 1,000 years… Thank you for your trust but this is not for us (peace panel). We’re not expecting rewards in this world. This is for the good of the people and Islam,” Prof. Abhoud Syed Lingga told members of Moro civil society groups in a gathering in Davao City.

“Exhaust all local remedies. If the Supreme Court declares the FAB (Framework Agreement on the Bangsamoro) and CAB (Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro) unconstitutional, it means we have to ask the international community to intervene,” Lingga said.

Lingga, however, expressed fears radical elements would become more aggressive if Congress fails to pass a version of the BBL that’s acceptable to the MILF.

“The MILF is committed to the peace process but this is not a guarantee because some sectors can just start something,” he said.

He said that while a resumption of violence remains a possibility the peace panels will still be there. “They will not be disbanded until after an exit agreement is signed.”

“There are still mechanisms that can contain violence if ever it recurs. But the MILF would be marginalized if the radicals become more aggressive and their narratives dominate,” he added.

Lingga emphasized the [full] decommissioning of MILF fighters won’t happen without the passage of the BBL.

“Decommissioning is tied to the BBL,” he explained.

Both peace panels have earlier clarified that decommissioning would depend on the progress in the implementation of the terms of the peace agreement.

In June this year, during the initial decommissioning involving 75 high-powered and crew-served weapons as well as 75 MILF fighters, MILF chair Al Haj Ebrahim Murad reiterated that “we will only accept a BBL that is in compliance with the letter and spirit of the FAB and CAB and its annexes.”

The Annex on Normalization to the CAB provides that upon the approval of the BBL, 30 percent of MILF forces and weapons would be decommissioned, 35 percent more in the third phase and the last 35 percent in the fourth phase.

“Passing the law is the responsibility of government. Mamasapano has no relationship with the BBL; it was purely a ceasefire violation as the SAF (Special Action Force) entered without coordination. I can’t understand why the BBL became collateral damage,” Lingga lamented.

Lingga was referring to the encounter in Mamasapano, Maguindanao on Jan. 25 this year which left 44 SAF troopers, 17 MILF fighters and five civilians dead. Reports said that aside from the MILF, other armed groups also figured in the encounter.

SAF members were on a mission to get Indonesian bomber Zulkipli bin Hir alias Marwan and his Filipino aide Abdulbasit Usman.

Marwan was reported killed in the raid based on the DNA test done on one of his fingers that was cut off and sent to the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

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1 COMMENT

  1. There can be no peace with an ideology that has been waring killing and invading for 1400 years. There can be no peace with people who threaten terror/violence to demand their rights to practice a barbaric sharia law code that has no compatibility with Filippine constitution based on the civilised Christian ethos.

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