[Press Release] Protesters staged picket in Senate; Calls on Senators to Do Not Delay passage of BBL -Bangsamoro para sa Bayan para sa Lahat

Protesters staged picket in Senate; Calls on Senators to Do Not Delay passage of BBL

Around 400 protesters belonging to the “Bangsamoro para sa Bayan para sa Lahat” coalition staged a picket in front of the Senate building today Monday, May 25, 2015 at 9:00 a.m. to call on members of the Committee headed by Sen. Bongbong Marcos to do a “Rufus Rodriguez” and fast track the process for the passage of the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL).

Carrying pictures of the Senators and tarpaulins with the slogans “Be A Peacemaker; Pass a CAB based BBL!” and “Do Not Delay, Peace under Construction. Pass a CAB based BBL!” the protesters asked Sen. Marcos as head of the Committee on Local Government to finalize the vote on the BBL within the week so as to synchronize the passage of the BBL with its counterpart bill at the House of Representatives, which is now currently awaiting plenary deliberations.

According to Bawgbug Program Coordinator Abdul Malik Cleofe, the protest action is the start of a series of actions that calls for the immediate passage of the BBL. “We feel that the sluggishness of the Committee in relation to coming up with a substantial discussion or position on the BBL is reflective of Sen. Marcos lack of commitment to the realization of peace in Mindanao and recognition of the right of the Bangsamoro for self-determination.”

Cleofe also said that “they are appealing to Sen. Marcos and other Senators critical to the BBL to fast track the process and to go beyond their myopic and biased view of the Bangsamoro question and see that their role is not only as lawmakers but also as peacemakers who would build the foundation for peace and development in Mindanao and in the country.”

Cleofe also questioned the statement of Sen.Marcos that there was no consultation with the Sultanate of Sulu, Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF), and Local Government Officials. “I do not know who Sen. Marcos has spoken with but there were several consultations that were already conducted with all sectors concerned even prior to the signing of the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro (CAB). I hope that Sen. Marcos can prove his statement and show that this is not just a political manoeuvre to derail the passage of the BBL.”

“The groups being presented as not having been consulted are not the legitimate representatives of the Sultanate or the MNLF. If Sen. Marcos is not careful this might just backfire on his face and show his anti-BBL and anti-Bangsamoro position.” Cleofe stated.

May 25, 2015
For more inquiries: Carlo Abdul Malik Cleofe 0905-3821641 or GaniAbunda 0998-9251786 or 911-0205; 435-2900

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