Statement of ARMM Gov. Mujiv Hataman on the Bangsamoro Basic Law
We are almost there. Today, the Ad Hoc Committee of the House of Representatives has spoken for peace for the Bangsamoro. Yes, there were amendments, but we hope that these changes will make for a better Bangsamoro Basic Law. I thank our lawmakers in Congress, for their time and their effort, and their knowledge of the law as they deliberated on House Bill 4994, its 220 provisions, and we thank the members of the Ad Hoc Committee for their proposed amendments. We are almost there.
This is a great step towards the goal of achieving a lasting peace in Muslim Mindanao. This is a great step towards the self-determination we have long been fighting for. The Bangsamoro Basic Law is a product of many learned Moro and non-Moro legal minds as they consulted with those who will live under it. The BBL – much debated, reviled by some, discussed heatedly even by those who have not even read it – is this much closer to becoming the law by which we Moros will build the foundations of peace, security and progress.
We of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao are ready for this transition. We have been preparing for it for more than three years. Everything that we have done in the working ARMM government has been for the benefit of the Bangsamoro.
There may be more discussions, and debates, perhaps even more amendments. We welcome these, because it is through discussion and debate that the BBL can be more widely known and understood. As the discussion is raised to the upper house we renew our hope that more of our leaders can realise how much we need the BBL.
We urge our lawmakers in the Senate to take their cue from the Lower House, and take the BBL into the homestretch. This is a race of hope, a race for peace. When the finish line is crossed, we, not just the Bangsamoro but the entire country, will all be winners.