Friday, December 5, 2014

Ad hoc committee on Bangsamoro Basic Law holds public hearing in Ilocos Norte

From the Philippine News Agency (Dec 5): Ad hoc committee on Bangsamoro Basic Law holds public hearing in Ilocos Norte

At least six members of the ad hoc committee of the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) visited Laoag today to consult Ilocanos and the Muslim community here about their thoughts on House Bill No. 4994 which seeks to promote peace in Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) including Lanao del Norte and North Cotabato.

Presided by Rep. Henry Oaminal of the second district of Misamis Occidental along with five other members of the ad hoc committee namely: Congressmen Rodolfo Farińas, Celso Lobregat, Tupay Loong, Jorge Almonte and Prospero Amatong, they told Ilocos residents the“insights of Ilocanos are important” for the passage of the proposed Bangsamoro government.

“We are one nation, the concerns of Mindanao are the concerns of Luzon and Visayas and vice versa. Di ba may kasabihan tayo na ang sakit ng kalingkingan ay sakit ng buong katawan. That is precisely the idea. The proposed Bangsamoro affects us all. As a Mindanaoan myself, I too, would like to hear the concerns of Luzon,” said Oaminal.Held at the auditorium of Northern Christian College in Laoag City attended by various multi-sectoral representatives composed of the United Alliance of Muslim Community in Laoag City, local government officials, public and private organizations, business organizations and other religious sectors, the ad hoc committee on the BBL is in Laoag today for the 24th league of the peace caravan in key cities of the country.

Citing the bill as a legacy of President Aquino which he strongly supports, Congressman Farińas said the committee hopes to finish the series of consultative hearings before December 17 in time for the passage of a committee report and plenary debate early next year when the Congress will resume session.

For the Muslim community in Laoag, Omar Yasin, adviser of the United Alliance of Muslim in Ilocos Norte expressed support for peace and development.

“We are grateful for the pushing of this bill. We thank Allah and we express our full support to this endeavour,” Yasin said during the hearing.

Meant to strengthen the relationship of the proposed Bangsamoro government with other local government units, Oaminal underscored the committee values the significance of Regions I and II as base of cultural diversity where peoples from different religion, cultural background and political divisions were able to live in peace and harmony.

“This diversity is a model for us in Congress to emphasize that the tri-people in Mindanao can be successfully governed by the formula of peoples’ participation, people empowerment and good governance,” he added notwithstanding the fact that there are many Ilocanos also in Mindanao.

For his part, Police provincial director Antonio Mendoza Jr. of Ilocos Norte who also served as former police chief of Basilan has commended the ad hoc committee for promoting lasting peace in Mindanao through the passage of the BBL.

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