Sultan proposes debate on BBL

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The president of the Muslim Bar Association of the Philippines, who is also the chairman of the Bangsa Moro Party (BMP), has challenged the proponents of the Bangsa Moro Basic Law (BBL) to a nationwide television debate.

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Firdausi I.Y. Abbas, who holds a doctorate degree from University of the Philippines, and who is the Sultan of Lanao, directed the challenge at the leaders of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) and Supreme Court Associate Justice Marvic Leonen.

Abbas said if Leonen, who was former chairman of the government negotiating panel during the talks with the MILF, refuses to accept the challenge, anybody from the government side will do to represent the affirmative side.

He said the debate will be based on the resolution: The Bangsa Moro Basic Law is the solution to the age-old Moro Problem. The issues Abbas suggested are: the BBL will end the conflict in the south; the BBL will cause a closer relationship between Muslims and Christians; the BBL will usher in economic progress; the BBL will alleviate the economic and social difficulties among the Moros; the BBL will create a stronger bond between the Philippines and Malaysia.

Abbas was captain of the undefeated UP debating team that won the National Union of Students of the Philippines (NUSP) Graduate Level Debating Tournament in 1968.

Abbas was also named Best Debater in the prestigious UP Open Debates in which his team also emerged as the champion.

He emphasized that the debate will be between the proponents and opponents of the proposed BBL from the Bangsa Moro Party (BMP) and the Muslim Bar Association of the Philippines, which he both heads. The debate could be two on two or one on one using the Oxford-Oregon format of debate where the speakers are given time for their main speeches, interpellation, and rebuttal.

Abbas emphasized that the BBL puts the Bangsa Moro once more at a crossroads. “Such a forum is imperative for transparency and for public information,” he said.

‘The MILF must overcome the position of the Muslim Bar and the BMP that we cannot accept the proposed law as Moros and as Muslims, for this law distorts Bangsa Moro history and is pernicious to Islam,” Abbas pointed out.

“This law is no better than R.A. 9054 which is the enactment of the 1996 Final Peace Agreement between the Philippine government and the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) which contains provisions which are culturally erroneous and blasphemous,” he said.

He said the debaters of the negative side could include officers of United Filipino Movement, and may either be lawyers Leonard de Vera or Jose Grapilon, both former presidents of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines.

De Vera was also a prominent UP debater and also once captained the UP debating team.

The Conference of Bangsa Moro Islamic Organizations (CBMIO) that was organized in 1985 and is composed of 58 national Moro organizations, is preparing to host the debate that will be held in Manila.

Officers of the CBMIO will request Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada to sponsor the event.

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4 Comments

  1. vagoneto rieles on

    I have little doubt that the Administration is railroading the ‘Bangsamoro Law’ all the way through the Supreme Court, and will even go as far as to campaign for its affirmation in the plebiscite..and my question remains the same. “WHY?”
    Philippine Muslims have always been an accepted segment of Philippine society. They have always been free to reside in any city and province, and establish businesses allover, as well. They have also been encouraged to get involved in politics. Names like Tamano, Alonto, Pendatun and many others are now part the Filipino narrative.
    The Government’s position on the Bangsamoro Basic Law.. recognizing the Philippine Muslim as a distinct people,(not Filipino); appropriating about 15% of Philippine Patrimony as Bangsamoro Territory, (to less than 5% of the country’s population); and, sharing governance and revenue with them…is incomprehensible and worrisome. There probably are other ‘voices in the wilderness’ out there that share this view. Now is the time to speak..for our country’s wholeness and indivisibility; for the sake of the rest of the country who happen to be non-Muslim; and for the sake of future generations of FILIPINOS.

  2. In this debate shall include the following subject.
    1)MILF-MR. AZCUNA said.. “The proposed law’s preamble states it is in consonance with the Constitution. This should lay to rest the concerns that the bill does not mention the Constitution at all,”

    >>>In which part or Section in the proposed BBL he read it and it was written?
    >>> If it is really written, then which Constitution they referring ….Philippine Constitution?, or Malaysian Constitution? or Bangsamoro Constitution?

    2) MILF & Mr. AZCUNA had said that the Bangsamoro measure provides that the Bangsamoro Region remains a part of the Philippines .

    >>>In which part or Section in the proposed BBL it was written?
    Is it written too, that Bangsamoro also under the the Philippine Government?

    3) MILF & Mr.AZCUNA had said that “Bangsamoro means the nation of the Moro. It is said that you can have a state with several nations. A nation is people with distinct experience and culture. In the US, there are several nations under US federal state,”

    >>> Indeed.Because the USA is a federal government of united federal states in North America. While at present we are in a Republic of the Philippines which is not a federal states, and the in the Presidential Government as states in the Phil. constitution.

    >>> MILF & Mr. Azcuna should define and differentiate the following:
    a) STATE?, b) NATION? c) COUNTRY? d) ENTITY ? e) SUB-ENTITY?

    >> Mr. Azcuna, please explain to the People of the Philippines……WHY YOU WANTED TO USE A FLAG OF BANGSAMORO AND NOT THE PHILIPPINE FLAG IF YOU STILL CONSIDERED AND PRONOUNCED THAT THE BANGSAMORO IS STILL A LEGITIMATE A PART OF THE PHILIPPINES AND IN A PURSUANT TO PHILIPPINE CONSTITUTION.

  3. BBL will not end the conflict in the south,allout war no ceasefire and crush the terror groups MILF,MNLF,BIFF and ABU SAYYAF will bring permanent peace and progress.Debate is all word reality is the real deal.Muslim and Christian are religions it is not our identity.

  4. Ahh…. debate. How academic and civilized!!!!

    Pero may history na. Kaya takot at baka pag nagalit ang natalo o nainsulto daw dahil hindi nagdatingan ang mga imbitado, huwag namang ang mga “Lost Command” uulitin the torching of villages.