MILF chief: Bangsamoro to bolster Islam in Mindanao

Al Haj Murad Ebrahim and Benigno S Aquino III

Al Haj Murad Ebrahim and Benigno S Aquino III


Bong S Sarmiento
KORONADAL CITY, PHILIPPINES

THE creation of the Bangsamoro government will not only bring peace and prosperity to Muslim Filipinos but, more importantly, will advance and bolster Islam as a way of life in Mindanao.

Al Haj Murad Ebrahim, chair of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), issued such pronouncement as he greeted the entire Muslim Ummah in the celebration of the holy feast of Aidil Adha or the Feast of Sacrifice.

October 6 was a national holiday in the Philippines for the celebration of Aidil Adha.

“Alhamdulillah, our more than 40 years of long struggle for freedom and self-determination is now gradually bearing fruits,” he said.

The Government of the Philippines (GPH) and the MILF signed last March 27 the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro (CAB), their final peace agreement after 17 years of negotiations.

The CAB envisions the creation of the new Bangsamoro region that will replace the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM).

“With the help of Allah, Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala, our hope for justice, peace and prosperity for the Bangsamoro people and homeland and most importantly the advancement of Islam as our way of life is bolstered and strengthened,” Murad said.

The Bangsamoro government will be legalised with the passage of the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) and its ratification by the constituents in the proposed territory, the core of which is the ARMM.

ARMM comprises the provinces of Maguindanao, Lanao del Sur, Basilan, Sulu and Tawi-Tawi and the cities of Marawi and Lamitan.

President Benigno S Aquino III submitted a BBL draft mutually agreed by the GPH and the MILF last September 10 to the Philippine Congress, which is composed of the Senate and the House of Representatives.

Aquino and Murad had met twice in Japan to push the peace process forward, which has gained support not only from the domestic front but also from the international community.

The President has certified the BBL as a priority legislative measure of the administration. The leadership of both houses of Congress has vowed to support the bill.

Murad said it is vital for the Bangsamoro people to carefully examine the BBL “because ultimately, we will all be beneficiaries to the dividends of the fruit of the peace we have been striving our level best to attain and preserve.”

He also called on those who have not yet registered to enlist so they can participate in the plebiscite.

Murad said they expect the plebiscite to take place “before the end of 2014 or early 2015.”

The MILF had agreed to decommission its firearms as part of the normalisation process.

The Brunei Times
Tuesday, October 7, 2014

http://www.bt.com.bn/news-asia/2014/10/07/milf-chief-bangsamoro-bolster-islam-mindanao

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