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1 M Muslims to prod Duterte on Bangsamoro law

1 M Muslims to prod Duterte on Bangsamoro law

“There are one million of us gathered here today for the first Bangsamoro assembly. These are the people themselves speaking to the President and other officials, that the BBL be passed soon,” said Ghazali Jaafar, Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) vice chairman for political affairs. Edd Gumban/File

DAVAO CITY, Philippines — At least one million Muslims from Mindanao are expected to present to President Duterte today their manifesto pushing for the speedy passage of the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law that remains pending in Congress.


“There are one million of us gathered here today for the first Bangsamoro assembly. These are the people themselves speaking to the President and other officials, that the BBL be passed soon,” said Ghazali Jaafar, Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) vice chairman for political affairs.


Jaafar told The STAR that Duterte, who has been pushing for the expeditious passage of BBL, is expected to attend today the assembly at the old provincial capitol in Sultan Kudarat town, Maguindanao.


“If we do not act on it expeditiously, I think that we are headed for trouble. Yes, we continue to talk and I hope that Congress would expedite its approval,” the President earlier said.


He added that he had committed to both the MILF and Moro National Liberation Front the passage of the measure.


“That is a commitment. Not even a promise but a commitment to the Moro people,” the President stressed.


Headlines ( Article MRec ), pagematch: 1, sectionmatch: 1

Jaafar, who also chairs the Bangsamoro Transition Committee (BTC), said the manifesto is “a result of what all the participants have come up with” and collated from the manifestos submitted earlier by various groups.


He explained that it is not something the BTC or the Central Committee of the MILF has drawn up but “rather each of the participants has contributed to it.”


The revised BBL was submitted to the President in August and to Congress in September. Although it was not certified urgent, Duterte has asked both the Senate and House to fast-track its passage. – With John Unson


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