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OIC wants MNLF included in BBL discussions –Bongbong Marcos

For an all-inclusive peace process, the Organization of Islamic Cooperation had advised Philippine lawmakers to include or consult the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) and other stakeholders regarding the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law, Senator Ferdinand Marcos Jr said Tuesday.

Marcos said the OIC officials, led by Secretary General Iyadf bin Ameen Madani, gave the advice when he asked for their perspective on the BBL during a meeting with Senate President Franklin Drilon Monday. The OIC officials are in the country to express support  for the passage of the BBL.

“Ang sinabi nila, dapat ang peace process all inclusive. Ibig sabihin, lahat ng concerned stakeholders, pati lahat ng armed groups, ay kasama sa usapan nang sa ganun kung magkaroon na ng kasunduan ay lahat ng naggi-giyera sa gobyerno ay kasama na sa usapan,” he said.

“They specifically mentioned the MNLF and that the MNLF should be included or at least should be consulted in the BBL hearings,” Marcos added.

Before the meeting with Senate leaders, Madani had a meeting with MNLF, as well as Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), members.

At present, the Aquino administration is engaged in a peace talk with the MILF, whose leaders were once members of the MNLF.

Previous pacts

Marcos quoted OIC officials as saying that the BBL should be taken in the context of other peace agreements that the government signed with the MNLF.

“This is something they have asked to examine and to look into again. So I think this is a good piece of advice. Ito ay susundan namin and we are trying to get in touch with some of the MNLF leaders kung pwede sila um-attend ng hearing para naman mapakinggan natin ang kanilang side,” he said.

The BBL, which is an embodiment of the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro signed by the government and the MILF, seeks to create a Bangsamoro entity that will replace the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao.

Marcos said he is trying to get in touch with the three factions of the MNLF. He was referring to the the faction of new MNLF chairman Abul Khayr Alonto, who was elected by the central committee; the faction of Muslimin Sema; and that of founder Nur Misuari.

“I’m waiting for the response dahil I sent out communication to all the factions pero ang problem nga, si chairman Nur Misuari, is a fugitive and he doesn't want to appear. That is a stumbling block. What we can do is invite lahat ng leadership or more or less the factions, to come and to speak in the hearing,” he said.

Hearings in Mindanao

Asked if this would cause delay in the passage of the BBL, Marcos said he hope not.

“Sana nga hindi, but it is additional two hearings at the most. We will see kung ano ang lumabas sa hearing at maunawan ng lahat how we will incorporate yun mga maririnig namin sa hearing and bring that into the system of Bangsamoro government,” he said.

He said he will conduct hearings in Jolo and Zamboanga.

Aside from the MNLF, Marcos seeks to talk with the sultanates and indigenous people who will be affected by the BBL.

“Kausap ko na [Sulu Vice Governor] Sakur Tan, sabi nya pwede, maganda ang security, he can guarantee so pwede na naming i-schedule,” he said.  —Amita O. Legaspi/KBK, GMA News