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Thursday, May 14, 2015

Senate hearing on BBL in Zambo draws varied opinions, reactions from stakeholders

ZAMBOANGA CITY – Groups coming from the different areas in the Zamboanga Peninsula region have expressed their varying positions regarding the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) during a senate hearing held here today by the Senate Committee on Local Governance chaired by Senator Ferdinand Marcos Jr.

A representative from the Maranao-Iranun Sultanate League expressed his support to the passage of the BBL. “We would like to be included in the BBL,” he said, citing that their tribe, their people and their communities have been victims to decades-long armed struggle.

“We are expecting enduring peace and development once the BBL is passed,” he added.

On the other hand, Msgr. David Alonzo a representative of the Diocese of Zamboanga of the Roman Catholic Church said “we advocate peace and meaningful coexistence with other groups.”

“We support the BBL as long as its provisions are within the framework of the Constitution,” Msgr. Alonzo declared.

For his part, Indigenous People’s (IP) Council representative Abdul Baki asked for recognition, equality and justice for IPs in the BBL.

However, Prof. Shariff Moshim Julabi of the Bangsamoro Mujahideen Alliance expressed his opposition to the BBL. “We are against the BBL, we are not part of it, that is only for the Maguindanao,” he said.

Meanwhile, Zamboanga City Mayor Beng Climaco-Salazar together with the vice mayor, city councilors and other local officials expressed their support to the peace initiatives of the administration, however, they emphasized that the city “should never be part of the Bangsamoro.”

Other stakeholders shared that “we do not want war, but we want to be under one flag, one nation in serving Allah.”

Yesterday (April 14), Senator Marcos was in Jolo, Sulu meeting with local stakeholders there regarding the proposed BBL. He shared that the people has voiced out their concerns to be excluded from the BBL, and instead have their own autonomy.

“It is very important to hear from the people themselves what they have to say about the BBL, if we do not consult them, all we hear are filtered versions of their position,” Senator Marcos said.