MAGUINDANAO: The passage of the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) will help stem the spread of extremism in Mindanao, according to Gov. Mujiv Hataman of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM).
Hataman said the successful implementation of the peace agreement between the government and Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) would stop “disgruntled” groups and individuals from joining extremists. The BBL seeks to establish an autonomous Bangsamoro region that will replace the ARMM.
The governor admitted that extremism may expand “depending on the outcome of the peace process.”
“Honestly, I am not alarmed by these [disgruntled groups], they will lost their reasons [to join extremists]if the peace process is implemented properly,” he said.
“The faster the passage of the BBL, the quicker we can get good response from these disgruntled [groups],” he added.
The House of Representatives and Senate have yet to finish deliberations on the draft BBL that was submitted by President Benigno Aquino 3rd to Congress in early September this year.
The governor denied the existence of groups supporting the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS).
“ISIS does not exist here, from the name itself, it is impossible as it means Islamic State of Iraq and Syria and it’s too far from Philippines and Mindanao,” Hataman told reporters during a briefing in Sultan Kudarat town.
The governor also dismissed reports on the existence of the Khilafah Islamiyah Mindanao-Black Flag Movement (KIM-BFM).
The upstart KIM-BFM is believed to be headed by Humam Abdul Najid, who is also a leader of Ghuraba in Lanao del Sur.
“I only read them in the newspapers,” Hataman said.
He however admitted that extremist groups have long existed in Mindanao. He cited the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG), which had reportedly pledged allegiance to the ISIS.