Press Release
July 23, 2018


Mr. President, Magandang Umaga. Assalamu Alaikum.

We all know that unlike most laws, this Act took an incredibly long, tricky, and arduous road. At the onset, at its helm, is a history of struggle that precedes all of us. A history of a region that is filled with narratives of violence and oppression. A region whose roads are paved with hunger, chaos, and countless deaths.

But with the grace of Allah, here we all are. The entire process we went through-the deliberations on the bill, the public hearings in Mindanao, the arguments over provision per provision-was tedious and at times, frustrating. That is why I salute all my fellow legislators, the peace advocates, the OPAPP, the Bangsamoro Transition Commission, whose steadfast commitment to the process is unparalleled. The ratification today is a testament to our commitment to the democratic process. It is a sign that the system works. That all we needed was a shared and unwavering belief in justice and that all roads lead to peace.

Because in the end, Mr. President, the BBL is not our achievement. It is the success story of our Moro brothers and sisters who have been fighting relentlessly for what rightfully belongs to them and their children. And that is life and a future where they don't have to raise their children in evacuation centers, where they can sleep at night without waking up to the ripping sound of firefights and explosions, where their farmers and fisherfolks can have a just share in their lands, waters, and resources. They earned it, Mr. President. The end of strife and the beginning of a simple, comfortable life of providing for their family, seeing their children play, go to school, and grow up to pursue their dreams.

With the enactment of this bill carries with it our collective hope to see and realize Bangsamoro, a region that is living in harmony and peace. A place that will not be anymore used as a ruse for unnecessary militarization and unending Martial rule.

Mr. President, my dear colleague, I vote yes.

And let me say, what I have said when I co-sponsored this bill in the plenary, the BBL is our recognition of the justness and legitimacy of the cause of the Bangsamoro people. It is the legislative expression of our commitment to the peace process. The enactment of the "Organic Law for the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao" is a good place to continue this long and overdue journey to a lasting and dignified peace.

Thank you. Maraming Salamat. Shukran.

News Latest News Feed