An organization and business groups in Mindanao are still favoring the passage of the original Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) because this would provide genuine autonomy for Muslims in Mindanao.
Deo Palma, secretary general of the Ang Katipunan ng mga Samahang Maharlika, said this was what he found out during his consultations in Region 12 covering the provinces of South Cotabato, Sultan Kudarat, Saranggni and cities of General Santos, Tacurong, Kidapawan, Midsayap, Koronadal and Cotabato.
Palma said that he is at present conducting a series of consultation and gathering data about the BBL for their research and comprehensive study on what are the advantages and disadvantages on the agreement being pushed by the concurrent administration of President Noynoy Aquino 3rd with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) compared to the agreement signed by former President Fidel V. Ramos on September 2, 1996 with the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF).
He also said that business leaders in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) during a conference on Wednesday urged lawmakers to let the original draft of the BBL be considered because it gives the Muslims a chance to gain autonomy.
The business leaders conference titled “Forum on the Economic Impact of the BBL: Original Draft vs. Substitute Bill,” was sponsored by the Regional Board of Investment in the autonomous region.
The business leaders said that bills to substitute the BBL, particularly House Bill 5811 and Senate Bill 2984, must be properly discussed because these are tantamount to the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro (CAB) that was signed between the Philippine government and the MILF last year.
A former municipal mayor of Palimbang, Sultan Kudarat, Labualas Abdul “Samrod” Mamansual, who also attended the business leaders conference, said he favors the BBL but said the MNLF’s call for genuine autonomy should be heeded.
“But let us also consider the fight of the MNLF who also wants the genuine autonomy which we had long fought for almost 30 years in struggle before the final signing of the September 2, 1996 MNLF-GPH peace agreement,” he said, referring to the Philippine government.
Mamansual also said President Aquino does not recognize the legitimacy of what Ramos had signed with the MNLF neither does he listen to the voice of the senior leaders of the MNLF.