Lanao sultan assures Congress: No war if BBL not passed, but…

Image capture from Philippine Daily Inquirer's video
  • Lanao sultan said two main Moro rebel groups won’t go to war over non-passage of BBL
  • However, he warned that extremists might take advantage and recruit disgruntled Moros
  • He also said he hopes Congress will help make BBL constitutional

MANILA, Philippines  –  A sultan of Lanao who is also a member of the Bangsamoro Transition Commission (BTC) assured Congress that the Moro Islamic Liberation Front and Moro National Liberation Front won’t wage a war with the government if the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) won’t be passed.

“We’re very thankful that the honorable senators are doing everything to see to it that this law will be passed. And there’s nothing from us, no statement could you ever expect that if this law will not be passed, there will be war,” the Philippine Daily Inquirer quoted Firdausi Ismail Abbas as saying. “Definitely, the M.N.L.F. will not go to war. Most of us are already old. The M.I.L.F. neither will go to war.”

At the same time, Abbas warned that the non-passage of the law might be used by extremists groups like the Abu Sayyaf and Maute group to foment further unrest in Mindanao.

“So these are things, the persons, the groups that will take advantage of the situation if this law will not be passed,” he said.

Abbas also said he hopes Congress will help thresh out any deficiencies in the BBL as a show of trust since all Filipinos would want peace in the country.

“There’s nothing to worry. We’re trying to build nationhood. But we can’t build it without trust. We can’t build without sincerity. For as long as you don’t trust us, nothing would come out of it,” he said.

“A strong nation is not borne out by a mere fiat of law. It must be our attitude towards each other, respect for each other’s cultures and customs,” he added.