We, the Traditional Leaders and Royal Ladies of the Bangsamoro, representing the various sultanates such as the Sultanate of Buayan, Sultanate of Kabuntalan, Sultanate of Dikaya, Sultanate of Linatangan Dar us-Salam, Paramount Sultanate of Linantangan Buayan Dar us-Salam, Society of Empowered Royal Ladies in Cotabato Empire, among other principalities in the Bangsamoro core territory, hereby manifest our unequivocal and unconditional support for the peace process between the Government of the Philippines (GPH) and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF).
The signing of the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro (CAB) on March 27, 2014, opened the windows of opportunities for a meaningful development and a dignified peace to reign in our land. It also ushered the advent – at least, to our belief – of a new political entity that is stronger and more autonomous than the present Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM).
The CAB, a political agreement had to be translated into a legal document. So, the Bangsamoro Transition Commission (BTC) drafted the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL). The BBL Draft was submitted to and reviewed by the Office of the President (OP) and ultimately submitted to the House of Representatives and the Senate for deliberation and passage into law.
We are now worried, however, by the fact that the document crafted by the BTC and agreed upon by the Office of the President is now substituted with another version – HB 5811 – whose provisions are inconsistent with the CAB.
There are also provisions that will inevitably result to a Bangsamoro government that is even less autonomous than the present ARMM.
These amendments are simply unacceptable. We want a basic law that will address the legitimate grievances of – and correct the historical injustices committed against – the Bangsamoro.
We strongly ask the members of the House of Representatives and the Senate for the immediate passage into law of the BBL draft as submitted by the Office of the President.
Signed this 22nd day of July 2015 (5th day of Shawwal 1436) in Cotabato City.