From GMA News (Jul 27):
He said in a statement that politicians using the Bangsamoro peace process in their political campaign is committing “injustice.”
“The Bangsamoro peace process, at its heart, is about social justice for a segment of our population who, for decades, were made to endure gross injustices and discrimination. Using it to further a personal, political agenda will be a form of another injustice,” Moxsir Al-haj said.
Once enacted by congress, the BBL will entrench the proposed new political entity Bangsamor that will replace the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM).
Moxsir Al-haj expressed concern that the elections might affect the peace process.
“President Aquino is to deliver his SONA (State of the Nation Address) next week. We are already beginning to hear in the news political rumblings and rumored pairings for 2016. It is very evident that our country is about to be gripped soon by political fever,” he said.
“They should leave the Bangsamoro out of it. We need to detach the process from the political noise and see the process for what it is – a democratic means being attempted to close the socio-cultural divide among the peoples of the Republic of the Philippines,” he added.
On his part, Sulu 1st district Rep. Tupay Loong, Vice Chairman of the House of Representatives Ad Hoc Committee on the BBL, admitted that the committee had always been aware that the BBL might be dragged into politics.
The House of Representatives is expected to continue with the plenary debates on the BBL once session resumes after President Benigno Aquino’s SONA on Monday, July 27.
“As they say, the Philippines has three seasons: summer, rainy and elections. To be honest, we wanted our work on the BBL to be done before election season arrives because we know for a fact that there are those who’d make the basic law another casualty in their quest for power,” Loong said.
“But passing the BBL didn’t happen, and we’re nearing October. What I can personally promise is that we’d do everything in our capacity to ensure that the remaining House debates will be sober.
And that the fate of the BBL will be determined by its own merits, not by political forces,” he added.
“If passed, the BBL would come as an act of brinkmanship in state craft,” Integrated Bar of the Philippines acting national secretary Nasser Marohomsalic said in a statement.
For retired chief justice Hilario Davide Jr. and other surviving framers of the 1987 Constitution, the envisioned Bangsamoro autonomous region can close the centuries-old gap between law and justice in Mindanao for the Bangsamoro.
Dean Antonio Laviña of the Ateneo School of Government urged lawmakers to complete the peace process so the country can move on to benefit from its fruits.
“It is important to have a vibrant, strong and autonomous Bangsamoro,” he said.
Laviña said the envisioned autonomous region would remain part of the Philippines, contrary to statements of anti-BBL lawmakers. It would also give the Moros more power to fulfill their aspirations for self-governance while remaining within Philippine society and territory.
Laviña sees nothing wrong with the fact that the BBL is a product of negotiations between the government and the MILF.
“The Supreme Court held that the President has the power to negotiate peace with the MILF, and to determine in what form and manner the peace process should be conducted, which includes the signing of peace agreements,” he said.
Laviña said the President also has the authority to propose new legislation to Congress, as was done in the case of the BBL.