Peace groups march to Congress as BBL committee votes on May 11


DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 09 May) – Thousands of supporters of the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law will march from St. Peter’s Parish along Commonwealth Avenue to the House of Representatives on Monday, May 11, as the 75-member Ad Hoc Committee on the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) begins voting on the BBL.

Dubbed “Bangsamoro Para sa Bayan, Para sa Lahat: a march for peace and solidarity for the Bangsamoro,” the mass action is expected to draw in thousands of representatives from various sectors that are pushing for the passage of a BBL as envisioned in the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro (CAB) that government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) signed on March 27, 2014 in Malacanan.

A press statement from organizers said they expect “8,000 to 10,000” supporters of the Bangsamoro peace process who are based in Metro Manila and some representatives from Mindanao during the march from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

The voting is scheduled for May 11 and 12 and will reportedly be held in executive session even as some groups are proposing that the vote be done publicly the way the committee hearings on the BBL were covered live by media.

Plenary debates on the committee-approved draft are expected to start on May 18.

Cagayan de Oro Rep. Rufus Rodriguez, chair of the Ad Hoc Committee on the BBL had earlier said they hope to pass the BBL before Congress adjourns sine die on June 11.

The press statement said the big mobilization on May 11 in Manila is being organized by various peace networks, among them the All Out Peace campaign, Friends of the Bangsamoro, Mindanao Solidarity Network, National Peace Council and Friends of Peace.

Other events under the campaign Çitizens’ Action for the Bangsamoro Basic Law’ will also take place on the same day in Davao City, Cagayan de Oro, Kidapawan, Cotabato City and Iloilo. (MindaNews)