Anak Mindanao representatives back passage of BBL

THE two Anak Mindanao partylist representatives have asked their colleagues to pass a Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) that recognizes the history of the Bangsamoro people and struggle to earn the right to self determination.

Anak Mindanao Representative Makmod Mending Jr. (first district) and Representative Amihilda Sangcopan (second district) said Friday that they welcome efforts of their colleagues to pass the BBL.

But they have also underscored a legislation that would create an improved regional government for the Bangsamoro.

"This long-awaited legislation will serve as the core of a stronger regional government -- one that will be stronger than the current Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (Armm)," they said in a statement, noting further that empowering the Bangsamoro with the passage of the BBL will eventually strengthen the country.

The Armm has successfully introduced and institutionalized reforms that improved the confidence in the leadership of the Bangsamoro people.

However, the Armm leaders have recognized that further reforms require a stronger regional entity with reduced dependence on the central government.

The Anak Mindanao also expressed full support to the BBL draft submitted by the 21-member Bangsamoro Transition Commission (BTC), underscoring that it is the result of public consultations conducted by both government and non-governmental groups, with the guidance of Moro and non-Moro legal experts.

Mending and Sangcopan said they hope that the consultations to be conducted by the House of Representatives would result in a new perspective and with a renewed commitment in pursuing peace.

They said the true spirit of lawmaking is drafting laws that address the needs of the people and aspirations, and passing laws that respond to the most pressing interests of the people.

"We are hoping that our esteemed colleagues in the House of Representatives will support us, people from the Bangsamoro territory, as we push for the passage of a BBL that echoes the people's clamor for just and lasting peace in the region in particular, and in the country in general - one that is truly representative of the Bangsamoro people," they said. (Bong Garcia/SunStar Philippines)