Allow Bangsamoro Basic Law some necessary ‘flexibility’
The transmission to Congress of the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL), which was jointly prepared by the government and MILF (Moro Islamic Liberation Front) panels comprising the Bangsamoro Transition Commission and reviewed by the Office of the President, is a welcome development for all the stakeholders of the proposed measure. It brings to the fore the commitment of President Aquino to put an end to the conflict in Mindanao which has threatened the sociopolitical stability and stunted the region’s economic growth and development.
We have to view and appreciate with objectivity the efforts of the two panels and the delay attendant to the submission and/or transmission to Congress of the draft BBL as part of the dynamics of democracy. The same should not be a bar to our quest for lasting peace in Muslim Mindanao and the other conflict-affected areas of the country.
The draft BBL has to be appreciated as done and pursued in conformity with the essence of the duly signed Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro (CAB), which has been highly accepted and viewed with optimism by the stakeholders thereof, including foreign governments, international organizations and facilitators that have extended support and their good offices to ensure the success of the peace process.
In applying and/or using specific provisions of the Constitution, as they relate to the contents of the draft BBL, a degree of liberality has to be observed, keeping in mind that a too restrictive application and/or interpretation of the fundamental law would frustrate our quest and aspiration for peace. We have to be guided by the legal maxim that “The will of the people is the supreme law.”
Flexibility in accommodating proposals, suggestions and positions aimed at reflecting in the draft BBL the spirit and intent outlined and manifested in the duly signed Framework Agreement on the Bangsamoro, has to be applied, provided that this will not compromise basic constitutional principles.
We encourage all concerned to allow and facilitate the passage of the draft BBL into law in order that qualified residents and voters of the affected areas may be provided, through the plebiscite to be called for the purpose, the opportunity to approve or reject the proposal as an exercise of their democratic right of suffrage.
Let us avoid unnecessary comments or remarks that might inflame or exacerbate the rising emotions attendant to the highly charged discussions and deliberations on the proposed BBL.
We have to think and act in accordance with what is best for our country and people, giving paramount importance and relevance to the effort towards peace and development.
Maraming salamat po at magandang araw sa inyong lahat.
secretary, National Commission on Muslim Filipinos
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