MANILA (Mabuhay) – The good relations between the Philippines and the Muslim world could be adversely affected should the peace process fall through and the next administration fails to pass the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL), the head of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) has warned.
In a statement released by the OIC and forwarded by the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP), Iyad Ameen Madani urged President Benigno Aquino III’s successor to refile the proposed BBL as it was originally agreed upon by the government and Moro Islamic Liberation Front’s (MILF) peace panels and ensure its early passage.
Madani released his statement following his meeting with MILF chairman Alhaj Murad Ebrahim last Feb. 28.
During their dialogue, Madani appealed to all parties to remain committed to the peace process even as he expressed disappointment over the Aquino administration’s failure to pass the bill.
“A failure of peace process could adversely affect the good relation existing between the Philippines and the Muslim world,” Madani was quoted in the statement as saying.
The proposed BBL, a product of the peace negotiations between the government and MILF peace panels, would formalize the creation of a new political entity that will replace the existing Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM).
Despite Murad’s reiteration of the MILF’s vow to uphold the peace process, Madani said further delay in the BBL’s passage or the adoption of a “modified weak version” of the bill would have adverse effects on human, security and developmental aspect of the region.
He also warned against the risk of worsening the situation that could allow the spread of violent extremism.
As Madani stressed the urgency of passing the proposed BBL, he reiterated the OIC’s firm support for the peace process and the full implementation of Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro (CAB) and all related agreements, namely the 1976 Tripoli Agreement and the 1996 Jakarta Agreement.
While he welcomed the Malaysian government’s continued support for the peace process, the OIC secretary general also urged the international community, particularly those involved in the peace process and those that witnessed the signing of the CAB, to urge the incoming administration to save this process and guarantee the passage of the BBL as originally agreed upon.
At the same time, Madani urged leaders of the MILF and the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) to to utilize the existing mechanism, Bangsamoro Coordinating Forum (BCF) to achieve a more unified position, as well as a more coherent consolidated and sustainable cooperation for the benefit of the Bangsamoro people. (MNS)