Congress ad hoc committee votes in favor of the BBL
Gov. Mujiv Hataman of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao lauded the House ad hoc committee on the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) for its approval of the proposed BBL.
With 50 yes votes, BBL has survived the gruelling deliberations and the scrutiny of the 75-member ad hoc committee headed by Cagayan de Oro Rep. Rufus Rodriguez.
The decision is proof that the calls for peace for Mindanao have reached the walls of Congress, Hataman said.
“Thank you for speaking for peace for the Bangsamoro,” said Hataman on Wednesday afternoon after the committee approved the BBL. “We are almost there. Yes, there were amendments, but we hope that these changes will make for a better Bangsamoro Basic Law.”
On Monday, top officials and employees of the regional government once again expressed their strong support for the passage of the BBL, which, when ratified, will give way to the establishment of a new Bangsamoro political entity. The new political entity will replace the ARMM regional government. The passage of the BBL has the support of many residents in the core areas to be covered by the new political government.
“I thank our lawmakers in Congress, for their time and their effort, and their knowledge of the law as they deliberated on House Bill 4994, its 220 provisions, ” Hataman said. “We thank the members of the ad hoc committee for their proposed amendments. This is a great step towards the goal of achieving a lasting peace in Muslim Mindanao. This is a great step towards self-determination that we have long been fighting for.”
Hataman stressed that BBL is not only a product of many learned Moro and non-Moro legal minds as they consulted with those who will live under it, but also of the great Moro people who never gave up on their dream of self-rule.
“The BBL – much debated upon, reviled by some, discussed heatedly even by those who have not even read it – is this much closer to becoming the law by which we Moros will build the foundations of peace, security and progress,” Hataman said.
The governor also underscored the region’s readiness to take on the challenge of transition.
“We have been preparing for it for more than three years,” he said. “Everything that we have done in the working ARMM government has been for the benefit of the Bangsamoro.”
But the battle for the passage of the BBL is not yet over and this, according to Hataman, opens an opportunity for the BBL to be more understood.
“We’re expecting there may be more discussions, and debates, perhaps even more amendments,” he said.
“We welcome these, because it is through discussion and debate that the BBL can be more widely known and understood. As the discussion is raised in the upper house, we renew our hope that more of our leaders can realize how much we need the BBL.We urge our lawmakers in the Senate to take their cue from the Lower House, and take the BBL into the homestretch,” he said.”This is a race of hope, a race for peace. When the finish line is crossed, we, not just the Bangsamoro but the entire country, will all be winners.”