BISHOP: BBL UN­AC­CEPT­ABLE TO MOROS WILL HELP IS GROW

Philippine Daily Inquirer - - REGIONS - —RE­PORTS FROM BONG SARMIENTO AND FRINSTON LIM

KORONADAL CITY— A se­nior Catholic leader warned that ex­trem­ism and Is­lamic State (IS) in­flu­ence would spread quickly in Min­danao if Con­gress passed a ver­sion of the pro­posed Bangsamoro Ba­sic Law (BBL) that the Bangsamoro peo­ple, rep­re­sented by the Moro Is­lamic Lib­er­a­tion Front (MILF), would re­ject.

Car­di­nal Or­lando Quevedo, of the Arch­dio­cese of Cota­bato, urged the bi­cam­eral con­fer­ence com­mit­tee cur­rently work­ing on the final ver­sion of the BBL to weigh the con­se­quences of pass­ing a mea­sure that veered away from the essence of the BBL as crafted by the Bangsamoro Tran­si­tion Com­mis­sion (BTC).

Quevedo had en­dorsed the BBL ver­sion crafted by the BTC, a panel led by the MILF.

An­ti­dote

“A good BBL will be an an­ti­dote to Is­lamic rad­i­cal­iza­tion,” Quevedo told the In­quirer on Wed­nes­day here.

Quevedo, Min­danao’s first and only car­di­nal, was in the city for the or­di­na­tion and in­stal­la­tion of new Mar­bel Bishop Cer­ilo Ca­si­cas.

He said if the ver­sion that Con­gress would pass failed to ad­dress his­tor­i­cal in­jus­tices com­mit­ted against the Moro peo­ple, rad­i­cal­ism would grow among Moro youth.

Min­danao, he said, was­now in the “cusp of peace” fol­low­ing the peace agree­ment be­tween the MILF and the gov­ern­ment dur­ing the ten­ure of for­mer Pres­i­dent Benigno Aquino III.

History

“In their hands is history, in their hands is peace,” Quevedo said.

Asked how deep IS in­flu­ence had pen­e­trated Min­danao, Quevedo said IS sup­port­ers could be “busy” re­cruit­ing mem­bers and “it will be ac­cel­er­ated if BBL failed.”

In May 2017, IS-in­spired Maute and Abu Sayyaf mem­bers tried to seize Marawi City in a bid to es­tab­lish a caliphate there.

Ear­lier warn­ing

The mil­i­tary is cur­rently en­gaged in op­er­a­tions to root out and elim­i­nate mem­bers of the Bangsamoro Is­lamic Free­dom Fight­ers, a group that broke off from the MILF, who had pledged al­le­giance to IS.

Quevedo had echoed a warn­ing ear­lier made by the group All Out Peace, which warned on Wed­nes­day against di­lut­ing the BBL.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Philippines

© PressReader. All rights reserved.