COTABATO CITY, June 6 (PNA) — Most of the local government executives in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) are asking members of the Senate and the House of Representatives to review and approve the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL).
The town mayors of ARMM wanted their voice to be heard as the Senate and the House were deliberating on the draft bill that will substitute the current autonomous region.
Thirteen mayors from Maguindanao, 26 from Lanao del Sur, seven from Sulu, 12 from Basilan, and eight from Tawi-Tawi manifested their support for the passage of the BBL saying it is a step in fulfilling a lasting peace in Mindanao.
On Friday, 66 mayors prepared and signed a statement of support pointing out that the BBL will help resolve the issues affecting Mindanao.
Currently, the ARMM is composed of five provinces of Maguindanao, Lanao del Sur, Basilan, Sulu and Tawi-Tawi, two cities and 118 municipalities.
The mayors who signed the statement said the BBL will open opportunities to their constituents. Both the regional government and the local government units, they said, will also be strengthened.
However, they noted that this can be achieved through a structurally superior Bangsamoro region that is better than the current ARMM set up.
The LGU executives said that the BBL is a “leap forward” after decades of peace talks between the Government of the Philippines (GRP) and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) and that it is “indubitably has the stamp of the Moro aspirations for peace, justice, genuine autonomy and self-determination.”
The ARMM government has been consistent in signifying its support to the BBL and the Mindanao peace agenda with no less than Regional Governor Mujiv Hataman even urged his constituents to support the call of the region for its passage.
On May 18, the 75 members of the House of Representatives’ Ad Hoc Committee on the Bangsamoro headed by Cagayan de Oro Rep. Rufus Rodriguez voted to approve the measure formalizing the creation of a new political entity – the Bangsamoro region.
Since June 1, the House of Representatives have been debating at the plenary level House Bill 5811 or an act creating the Basic Law for the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region (BL-BAR).”
On June 11, the House in plenary is set to vote, hoping it will be passed on third reading before the 16th Congress adjourns sine die.
Of the 33 lawmakers listed to raise inquiries on HB 5811, only five have so far took the floor. (PNA)