COTABATO CITY: Former Sulu Gov. Abdusakur Tan, who has been very vocal against the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL), expressed his support for it on condition that its passage will be based on democratic processes.
Tan expressed this during the ongoing public hearing in Jolo by the Senate sub-committee on Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) headed by Sen. Juan Miguel Zubiri.
“We do not want war; we also want peace. I am asking for everyone to give freedom to the people. Give us the opportunity to make the people understand. If the BBL is good, then it will win here. Just make the proceedings democratic. I will help the BTC [Bangsamoro Transition Commission] members explain what is good in the BBL, just make it more democratic,” Tan said.
Tan, representing the elders of Sulu, also submitted a position paper to the panel.
Meanwhile, Sulu Gov. Toto Tan reminded his constituents, among them the Tausugs, of their privilege to decide what is best for the province.
“You will decide for Sulu that is why the Senators are here to give you the opportunity to speak up,” he said.
At least seven senators, led by Senate President Aquilino Pimentel and Secretary Jesus Dureza of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process, conducted a series of public hearings on the BBL in the ZamBaSulTa (Zamboanga, Basilan, Sulu, Tawi-Tawi) area for two days last week.
Ghazali Jaafar, vice chairman for political affairs of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) and chairman of the Bangsamoro Transition Commission (BTC) with Mohagher Iqbal, chair of the MILF implementing peace panel and one of the BTC commissioners, joined the senators in the public hearings in ZamBaSulTa.
“We are here not as combatants but with an offer of peace to all of you,” Jaafar told the Tausug in Sulu, a known hub of the rival Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) headed by its founding chairman Nur Misuari.
Dureza also informed the attendees that President Rodrigo Duterte wants to correct the historical injustice committed in Mindanao and strongly believes that the BBL is an instrument for this purpose.
He said the President added more BTC members to make it more inclusive and with multi-ethnic representation, including MNLF and the other sectors and organizations.