World Philippine Congress approves Muslim self-rule bill -


MANILA: The Philippines' House of Representatives on Wednesday approved on the third and final reading a proposed bill granting self-rule to the Southeast Asian country's Muslim minority.

With 227 votes in the affirmative, 11 negative and two abstentions, the lower chamber approved House Bill 6475, an act seeking to provide the Basic Bangsamoro Law (BBL).

Al-Hajj Ebrahim Murad, chairman of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), hailed this development, saying it is a step forward to achieving lasting peace on the conflict-stricken island of Mindanao.

The approval came after President Rodrigo Duterte certified as “urgent” the proposed BBL, which seeks to create a new Bangsamoro political entity with enhanced autonomy.

Hours after the president certified the measure as urgent, the House of Representatives began the period of interpellation on the BBL Wednesday afternoon. Five Mindanao politicians urged their colleagues to help unite the nation as they presented HB 6575.

“The time is ripe for our stories as Bangsamoro, as Mindanaoans, to be told on our own viewpoint,” said Peace, Reconciliation, and Unity Committee Vice Chair Amihilda Sangcopan in her sponsorship speech.

Sangcopan, along with Deputy Speaker Bai Sandra Sema; Peace, Reconciliation and Unity Committee Chair Ruby Sahali; Committee on Muslim Affairs Chair Mauyag Papandayan; and Local Government Committee Chair Pedro Acharon, delivered separate sponsorship speeches for the proposed measure.

“I request each and every member of this House of Representatives to look into your hearts and seek an answer to the problem of national and cultural divide that has plagued the republic for 400 years,” Papandayan said.

Sema urged her colleagues to grab the “opportunity to make things right” for the Bangsamoro people.

Meanwhile, Sahali called the vote for the BBL as a vote for the entire nation. “The success of the Bangsamoro is the success of the Filipino people, because we, the Bangsamoro people, are an indispensable part of our national identity.”

Acharon said he believed the passage of the BBL would have implications for peace and security in the country. “All of us have only one common objective, and that is to stop the cycle of violence and bring just and lasting peace,” he said.

Murad, following the approval of the BBL at the lower chamber, said they were optimistic that the bill would also be passed in the Senate, which is still working on the amendments to the measure as of press time.

Senate majority leader Juan Miguel F. Zubiri, chairman of the sub-committee on the Bangsamoro Basic Law, said they are “on track” with the BBL.

“These past two days and nights disproved the disbelievers that the Senate can hack it. At this time, the landmark measure is being forged by senators across party lines,” he said.

In a phone interview, Murad told Arab News that the Senate had also assured them that their version of the bill will be passed within the day.

Both houses of Congress have earlier promised to pass the proposed BBL before they go on recess. A bicameral (bicam) conference committee will then be held during the break to resolve conflicting provisions of the House and Senate versions of bills.

“We are still continuing our engagement (with them). The final amendment will be done during the bicam. There are still issues that we want to discuss with both houses. But generally the amendments made are, as far as we are concerned, tolerable to us,” Murad said, adding: “They just need some improvement.”

Once both chambers have reconciled and finalized the bill, Duterte is expected to sign the BBL in time for his State of the Nation Address at 4 p.m. on the same day (July 23).

Murad said the next stage will be ratification.

“So within 120 days, it has to be ratified, so we will be conducting a plebiscite on the affected areas,” the MILF chair said, adding that the president is targeting November for the plebiscite.

“Then the Bangsamoro Transition Authority will be established,” Murad continued.

“The Bangsamoro people have long been waiting for those. They know it is their only hope in order to attain peace and prosperity in the Bangsamoro homeland,” he said.

“We are hoping that everybody is now rejoicing and will be supporting the Bangsamoro Basic Law,” he added.

Murad admitted, though, that the BBL would not solve all the problems in Mindanao in an instant. “The security problem in Mindanao cannot be solved overnight but this will be a very important step forward to address the peace and order situation,” he said.

Fr. Elizeo Mercado, OMI, when asked if he believed that the BBL would lead to lasting peace in Mindanao, said: “It may, but (there’s) no guarantee because the BIFF (Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters) and the ASG (Abu Sayyaf Group) are not on board.

The BBL is the political and legislative track of the Comprehensive Agreement of the Bangsamoro (CAB) signed between the government and the MILF in 2014.

Duterte, since he assumed the presidency in 2016, has continuously pushed for the passage of the law as he vowed to work “very hard” to address injustices committed against the Moro people. And in April, the president said he “might resign” if the bill is not passed before the end of May.

Racist Trash

Fucking Lidl doesn't have any Custard Creams.
Wait, didn't they just practically have to destroy a city due to ISIS or something running shop out of it? How did they go from that to then saying "oh hey Islams, you can just do whatever you want now, have fun!"

I assume that the moment a Muslim does some shit outside their designated zone war will be declared on the region.


I'm not mad at anyone, honest.
True & Honest Fan
Retired Staff
Do you understand what "self-rule" means? It's more on the level of being a United States state. It doesn't mean they ultimately rule every single thing in their little ghetto.

Whatever you might think about Duterte (I think he is a fascist), he has some sense in that he's trying to resolve internal conflicts in the country before potentially having to face extremely dangerous outsiders, specifically China. He has no room to be weak on that front, even with U.S. support in the Trump era meaning he has someone behind his back.

China is an obvious, serious threat especially since Duterte basically threatened to go to war on them if they don't knock off their bullshit.

He has no time for dealing with Islams at the same time.


At the end of some rope
This is clearly an action to take care of internal problems (Muslim minority) for a time while they try to deal with a massive external one (China).
It doesn't mean that the Philippines is suddenly going to act nice towards Muslims in general.
It's more, throw the monkey a banana to shut it up and keeping it from fucking everything up while they load the shotgun and call in some friends to ward off the incoming bear as it stalks the fucking yard.

Save the Loli
This is a beautiful example of multiculturalism in action.
The Philippines is a multicultural as fuck. Basically some islanders lived there, then other islanders came and raped them, then Muslims came and started raping the offspring of those islanders, then the Spanish and Chinese came and raped the offspring of those islanders, then the Americans and Japanese came and raped the offspring of those islanders, and finally we have the modern Philippines.

Derp Potato

Just a Spud doing spud things
"Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF)"


Also, smart play by Duterte. Let them have their little shithole of an area with "control." He's already shown them he'll destroy a whole town to wipe them out and last I checked, still has bounties out for any ISIS members. He's far more concerned about the dragon to the north that can do far more and longer lasting damage.

Unseemly and Feral

My dreads are actually a hat
Other countries have done similar things with their Muslim minorities. In Russia, Putin made an arrangement with Chechen warrior Islam Kadyrov to end most of the conflict in the region in exchange for giving him internal control over Chechenya. Kadyrov is also the one responsible for carrying out the extermination campaign against LGBT people in Chechenya.

In Indonesia, a majority of the total population is Muslim, but since its a country made up of hundreds of islands, languages, and people groups, most people there live in proximity to other groups. The exception is Aceh, the, the northern tip of the big island Sumatra on the far western end of the country, where sharia law is in full effect. A lot of the Muslim-related violence stories coming from Indonesia come from here.

The tldr version of this is that sometimes leaders tolerate Islamic enclaves to satiate their own extremists and to keep them confined in a sort of quarantine.

Piss Clam

Squeeze me.
The juramentado attacks were materially reduced in number by a practice the army had already adopted, one that the Mohammadans held in abhorrence. The bodies were publicly buried in the same grave with a dead pig. It was not pleasant to have to take such measures but the prospect of going to hell instead of heaven sometimes deterred the would-be assassins.
John J. Pershing.

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