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Republic of the Philippines

CONGRESS OF THE PHILIPPINES


SENATE
Pasay City

COMMITTEE ON LOCAL GOVERNMENT


JOINT WITH THE
COMMITTEES ON PEACE, UNIFICATION
AND RECONCILIATION; AND CONSTITUTIONAL
AMENDMENTS AND REVISION OF CODES
DATE

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

TIME

10:30 a.m.

VENUE

Sulu Provincial Multi-Purpose Gymnasium


Capitol Site, Patikul, Sulu

AGENDA

Senate Bill No. 2408 An Act Providing for the Basic


Law for the Bangsamoro and Abolishing the
Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, Repealing
for the Purpose Republic Act No. 9054, Entitled, An
Act to Strengthen and Expand the Organic Act for
the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, and
Republic Act No. 6734, Entitled An Act Providing for
an Organic Act for the Autonomous Region in
Muslim Mindanao, and for Other Purposes
(Introduced by Senators Drilon, Sotto, Legarda,
Recto, Binay, Escudero, Aquino, Angara, P.
Cayetano, Honasan and Guingona)

_________________________________________
ATTENDANCE
SENATOR PRESENT:
Hon. Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr.

- Chairman, Committee on Local Government

GUESTS/RESOURCE PERSONS:
Hon. Antonio F. Lagdameo Jr.
Hon. Abdusakur Toto Tan II

- Representative, Davao Del Norte


- Governor, Province of Sulu

COMMITTEE ON LOCAL GOVERNMENT JOINT WITH THE


COMMITTEES ON PEACE, UNIFICATION AND RECONCILIATION; AND
CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENTS AND REVISION OF CODES
Wednesday, May 13, 2015
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Hon. Abdusakur Tan

Vice Governor, Province of Sulu

BGen. Arturo Jose Orticio Jr.

Armed Forces of the Philippines

BGen. Carlito Galvez

Western Mindanao Command Deputy


Commander for Peace Process
Armed Forces of the Philippines

Hon. Jose Lorena

Undersecretary, Office of the


Presidential Adviser on the Peace
Process (OPAPP)

Atty. Al Julkipli

Presidential Adviser on the Peace


Process (OPAPP)

Mr. Nasser Tagayan

Presidential Adviser on the Peace


Process (OPAPP)

Ms. Jana Emran

Presidential Adviser on the Peace


Process (OPAPP)

Atty. Nabil Tan

Undersecretary and Head, Manila


Coordinating Office, Office of the
President of the Philippines

Mr. Asani Tammang

Commissioner, Bangsamoro Transition


Commission

Ms. Fatmawati Salapuddin

Commissioner, Bangsamoro Transition


Commission

Mr. Alih Aiyub

Commissioner, Bangsamoro Transition


Commission

Mr. Abraham Burahan

Secretary General, League of


Municipalities;
Mayor, Municipality of Hadji Panglima
Tahil, Province of Sulu

Mr. Hussin Amin

Mayor, Municipality of Jolo


Province of Sulu

COMMITTEE ON LOCAL GOVERNMENT JOINT WITH THE


COMMITTEES ON PEACE, UNIFICATION AND RECONCILIATION; AND
CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENTS AND REVISION OF CODES
Wednesday, May 13, 2015
Page 3

Mr. Anton Burahan

Mayor, Municipality of Pata


Province of Sulu

Mr. Gafor Abdurajak

Mayor, Municipality of Old Panamao


Province of Sulu

Mr. Allayon Arbison Jr.

Mayor, Municipality of Luuk


Province of Sulu

Mr. Hadji Amilhama Taib

Mayor, Municipality of Pangutaran


Province of Sulu

Mr. Madzhar Loong

Mayor, Municipality of Parang


Province of Sulu

Mr. Nasser Daud

Mayor, Municipality of Tapul


Province of Sulu

Ms. Liezel Halun

Mayor, Municipality of Kalingalan


Caluang, Province of Sulu

Ms. Mussah Muksan

Mayor, Municipality of Siasi


Province of Sulu

Ms. Sitti Raya Tulawie

Mayor, Municipality of Talipao


Province of Sulu

Mr. Saripuddin Jikiri

Mayor, Municipality of Indanan,


Province of Sulu

Mr. Hadja Dorni Daud

Vice Mayor, Municipality of Tapul


Province of Sulu

Mr. Nasser Hayudini

Councillor, Municipality of Patikul


Province of Sulu

Mr. Edmund Tayao

Local Government Development


Foundation

Mr. Jorshon Hailil

Fifth Sharia Circuit Court,


Hall of Justice

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Wednesday, May 13, 2015
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Mr. Edmund Gumbahali

Lead Convenor, Tausug Network

Mr. Mohammad Faizal Alih

Member, MATAWKASI, Inc.

Mr. Zanzibar Hadjulani

Chairman, Anak Sug Alliance

Mr. Abdulajid Estino

PAZAMBATASUL

Fr. Romeo Villanueva

Vicariate General, Bishop of Jolo


Director, Justice, Peace, Integrity of
Creation Ministry

Mr. Albi Julkarnain

Datu, Jolo, Sulu

Mr. Abubakar Mohammad

Professor and Local CSO Leader

Atty. Benedicto Bacani

Executive Director
Institute for Autonomy and
Governance

Mr. Rey Danilo Lacson

Professor, Institute for Autonomy and


Governance

Mr. Abraham Idjirani

Secretary General of Sulu Sultanate

Ms. Fatima Rasul

Philippine Council on Islam and


Democracy

Atty. Salma Rasul

Philippine Council on Islam and


Democracy

Mr. Habib Mujahab Hashim

Senior Officer, Moro National


Liberation Front

Mr. Aljiber Ismael

Vice President, Tausug Active Youth


Organization, Inc.

Ms. Fadzinya Kahalan

Tausug Active Youth Organization,


Inc.

Mr. Sali Abdulmajid

Sulu Alliance for Peace and


Development

COMMITTEE ON LOCAL GOVERNMENT JOINT WITH THE


COMMITTEES ON PEACE, UNIFICATION AND RECONCILIATION; AND
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Wednesday, May 13, 2015
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Mr. Abdul Kong Sahrin

Secretary General, MNLF Central


Committee

Mr. Sharif Juhor Hali

President, Directorate of Islamic of


the Philippines

SENATORS STAFF
Atty. Jose Cadiz, Jr.
Atty. Minda Lavarias
Atty. Ryan Estevez
Atty. Elbert Cruz
Atty. Jason Co
Mr. John Carlos

O/S
O/S
O/S
O/S
O/S
O/S

Marcos
Marcos
Pimentel
Pimentel
A. Cayetano
A. Cayetano

SENATE SECRETARIAT:
Ms. Assumption Ingrid B. Reyes
Ms. Cindell B. Gealan
Ms. Ma. Rosalinda J. Catadman
Ms. Bathaluman H. Gonzales
Ms. Imelda J. Vicedo
Ms. Mylene R. Palino
Mr. Daniel D. Diamzon
Mr. Jimmy Gaviola
Ms. Gina Rowena Nortez
Mr. Eric Jalandoon

Legislative Committee Secretary


Legislative Committee Stenographer
- do
- do
- do
Legislative Committee Clerk
- do
- do
Legislative Page
- do

(For complete list, please see attached Attendance Sheet.)

COMMITTEE ON LOCAL GOVERNMENT JOINT WITH THE


COMMITTEES ON PEACE, UNIFICATION AND RECONCILIATION;
AND CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENTS AND REVISION OF
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CBGealan
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May 13, 2015
10:34 a.m.
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AT 10:34 A.M., HON. FERDINAND R. MARCOS


JR., CHAIRMAN OF THE COMMITTEE ON LOCAL
GOVERNMENT, CALLED THE HEARING TO ORDER.
MR. UKKOH. Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh.
Good morning, ladies and gentlemen.
Well start the program or the event this morning by way of an
invocation.

May I respectfully invite Al Pataunti from UP Diliman to

lead us in prayer. This will be followed by the singing of the Philippine


National Anthem.
[PRAYER]
[SINGING OF THE NATIONAL ANTHEM]
MR. UKKOH. Thank you very much.
Once again, ladies and gentlemen, good morning.
This time, Honorable Abdusakur Toto Tan II, Governor,
Province of Sulu, will now deliver his opening and welcome remarks.
MR. A. TAN II. Bismillaahir Rahmaanin Raheem.
Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh.
Good

morning,

everyone.

On

behalf

of

the

provincial

government and the people of Sulu, allow me to extend a warm


welcome to Senator Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr., Chairman of the Senate
Committee on Local Government and Senate Committee on Peace,

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Unification and Reconciliation, and the Senators party for the Joint
Committee Hearing on the BBL this morning.
I am also acknowledging the presence of distinguished guests
and resource persons and representatives of various sectors of our
society, who, I hope, will be allowed the opportunity to be enlightened,
clear whatever doubts and concerns they may harbor on the crafting of
a law defining the future of the region.
Sa totoo lang, hindi naman talaga ang BBL mismo ang pinaguukulan ng pansin ng mga karaniwang tao. Natitiyak ko na karaniwan
sa amin dito ay hindi ukol nang panahon na mabasa man lamang ang
draft law. Ang karaniwang sinasabi sa mga usap-usapan sa tabi-tabi
na ang MILF na daw ang papalit sa pamamahala ng ARMM at ng mga
lalawigan na sakop nito. Hindi po natin masisisi ang mga tao sapagkat
ang issue ng BBL ay hindi lubusang naipaliwanag sa amin at sa
karaniwang

mamamayan

upang

lubusan

nilang

maunawaan

at

makaiwas sa mga haka-haka na sa halip na makabuklod ay nakakahati


sa amin dito sa lalawigan ng Sulu.
With the presence of the various sectors here today, I hope the
Senate Committee and the resource people participating can clear the
air that this current episode obtaining in the region is not a matter of
virtual takeover of local governance by an occupying force or forces as

COMMITTEE ON LOCAL GOVERNMENT JOINT WITH THE


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bannered about by some quarters.

In the course of this public

hearing, let me be the one to beg the indulgence of the honorable


Senate Committee when there are queries not on the provisions of the
law but more on the outpouring or murmuring sentiments of
uncertainties on what awaits in the future.
Mauli, magsukol kanyo katan.
Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh.
THE CHAIRMAN (SEN. MARCOS).

Thank you very much,

Governor Tan.
I would, at this point, now call to order.
We call to order the hearing of the Committee on Local
Government of 13 May 2015.
Our agenda today is Senate Bill No. 2408. And to read the title,
it is An Act Providing for the Basic Law for the Bangsamoro, Abolishing
the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, Repealing for the Purpose
Republic Act No. 9054, Entitled An Act to Strengthen and Expand the
Organic Act for the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, and
Republic Act No. 6734, Entitled An Act Providing for An Organic Act for
the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, and for Other Purposes.
This Senate Bill No. 2408 is more commonly known as the Draft
Bangsamoro Basic Law and that is our agenda for today.

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AND CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENTS AND REVISION OF
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I would like to acknowledge for the record the presence of


Representative Anton Lagdameo of Davao Del Norte who is serving
today as our liaison to the House of Representatives; the Chief of Staff,
General Gregorio Catapang, is represented by Brigadier General Arturo
Jose Orticio Jr.
Also here is Brigadier General Carlito Galvez who is the
WestMinCom Deputy Commander for Peace Process, AFP. Also here is
Atty. Nabil Tan, Undersecretary and Head, Manila Coordinating Office,
Office of the President.
For OPAPP, who are here today is our constant companion in all
of these hearings, Atty. Al Julkipli, Nasser Tagayan and Jana Emran,
who are from the academe and the civil society respectively.
Members

of

the

Bangsamoro

Transition

Commission:

Commissioner Asani Tammang, Commissioner Fatmawati Salapuddin,


Alih Aiyub.
From the Government of the Province of Sulu, the Governor
Abdusakur Tan II, and Vice Governor Abdusakur Tan.
The mayors of Sulu who are present today, Mayor Jess Burahan,
the Secretary General of the League of Municipalities; Mayor Hussin
Amin, the Municipality of Jolo; Mayor Anton Burahan, Municipality of
Pata; Mayor Gafor Abdurajak, Municipality of Old Panamao; Mayor

COMMITTEE ON LOCAL GOVERNMENT JOINT WITH THE


COMMITTEES ON PEACE, UNIFICATION AND RECONCILIATION;
AND CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENTS AND REVISION OF
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Allayon Arbison, Municipality of Luuk; Mayor Hadji Taib, Municipality of


Pangutaran; Mayor Madzhar Loong, Municipality of Parang; Mayor
Leizel Halun, Municipality of Kalingalan/cbg

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M.R. CATADMAN
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May 13, 2015
10:44 a.m.
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THE

CHAIRMAN

Kalingalan Caluang;
Mayor

Sitti

Hayudini,

MARCOS).

Raya Tulawie, Municipality of

represented
Jikiri,

Berto,

Municipality
Asmadun,

Municipality

of

Mayor Mussah Muksan, Municipality of Siasi;

Saripuddin

Zhudurie

(SEN.

by

Councilor

Municipality

of

of
of

Mayor

Kabir

Nasser Hayudini;
Indanan;

Pandami;

Municipality

Municipality of Maimbung;

Talipao;

Lugus;

Mayor

Mayor

Mayor

Intan

Mayor

Al-

Samier

Tan,

Mayor Ferahana Mohammad, Municipality

of Omar. From the youth organizations, from the Muslim Student


Association, Zadiqueyah Hajihil;
Romero

Villanueva;

Mohammad;

local

from the vicar general, Father


CSO

leader,

Professor

Dr. Raden Ikbala, from the BASSAKAO;

Julkarnain from Jolo, Sulu;

Abubakar
Datu Albi

Dr. Hanbal Bara also from Jolo;

Atty.

Benedicto Bacani, who is the executive director of the Institute for


Autonomy and Governance; Professor Rey Danilo Lacson, the Institute
for Autonomy and Governance; Ms. Fatima Rasul from the Philippine
Council on Islam and Democracy;
Council

on

Islam

and

Democracy;

Atty. Salma Rasul, Philippine


Professor

Edmund

Tayao,

LOGODEF; Habib Munjahab Hashim, MNLF-ICC; Atty. Meltino Sibulan,


The Sulu Human Rights Network. These are the resource persons who
are available to us today.

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COMMITTEE ON LOCAL GOVERNMENT JOINT WITH THE


COMMITTEES ON PEACE, UNIFICATION AND RECONCILIATION;
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M.R. CATADMAN
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May 13, 2015
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Let me first, before we proceed, have a very quick explanation.


Maipaliwanag ko lang naman sa ating mga nandito ngayong araw na
itong hearing na ito ay dapat noong Pebrero pa. Tama, noong Pebrero
pa dapat ito. But, as you know, nangyari iyong Mamasapano at napush back lahat noong aming mga hearing, na-suspindi ng isang
buwan

at

habang

iniimbistigahan

ang

mga

pangyayari

sa

Mamasapano. At ngayon ay tapos na ang mga hearing na iyon kayat


ipinagpatuloy ng inyong Committee on Local Government sa Senado
ang mga hearing na ito.

The hearing today in Sulu, and tomorrow

there will be a hearing in Zamboanga City. Iyan na ang dalawang last


hearings dito sa Mindanao. Mayroon pang mga susunod na hearings
pero gagawin na sa Manila. At ito ay pinilit komaraming nagsasabi,
Huwag ka nang pumunta sa Jolo at Zamboanga at alam na rin natin
ang magiging issue.

Sabi ko, hindi maaaring mangyari iyon dahil

nagsasabi ang ating mga kasama na nais nilang magsalita, at ito ay


ipinangako ng Committee sa inyo.

Kayat we have returned and we

will continue with the hearings that we have scheduled.


I would just like to explain how we will conduct the hearing.
There are severalI have here seven, although ang dumating yata ay
anim lang, o lima langbut there are five, six, maybe seven groups
that have a position paper to present to the Committee.

Kayat ang

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COMMITTEE ON LOCAL GOVERNMENT JOINT WITH THE


COMMITTEES ON PEACE, UNIFICATION AND RECONCILIATION;
AND CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENTS AND REVISION OF
CODES
M.R. CATADMAN
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aking balak ay unahin muna natin lahat ng mga magpi-present ng


position paper para makapagsalita lahat sila, at lahat ng kanilang
gustong sabihin ay mailagay sa record. Pagkatapos noong pag-prisinta
ng mga position paper, I will open the floor because we also have
Besides the list of those who would like to present a position paper, we
also have a list of people who have registered their desire to speak.
So, without further ado, I think we can begin with Father Romero
Villanueva from the Vicariate of Jolo, if he is ready to present the
position that he has forwarded to the Committee.
Father, we are in receipt of your position paper. For the record,
please, if you would explain for the record and for the public what is
the position that you have espoused in this paper that you have
handed us. Please proceed.
MR. VILLANUEVA. Thank you, Honorable Senator.
I would like to begin. It has been said, the world will never be
the dwelling place of peace until peace has found a home in the heart
of each man and woman.
Our peace campaign is to discuss, if I shorten it, whether or not
BBL will replace or the Bangsamoro Autonomy will replace the ARMM,
the Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao.

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My position is this.

In simple words, in simple laudable

language, the focus of our discussions is on the merits of BBL or the


Bangsamoro Autonomy intended to replace the Autonomous Region of
Muslim Mindanao.

That there may be a just and lasting peace in

Mindanao and in Sulu archipelago.


The

most

basic

question

that

the

proposed

bill

on

the

Bangsamoro Autonomy attempts to answer is in this particular


complicated situation of unpeace in southern Philippines, not only in
ARMM, but also in the affected provinces here in MindanaoBasilan,
Sulu, and Tawi-Tawi.

Foremost among all these is the problem posed

by the MILF, Moro Islamic Liberation Front, not only in words, but with
guns.
What could bring just and lasting peace to southern Philippines?
The resounding answer is the Bangsamoro with its basic
Bangsamoro Basic Law!

ARMM must be done away with as a failed

experiment. The answer, of course, is coming from President Aquino


himself as crafted with OPAPP and the MILF leadership and backed up
very generously by Malaysia.
The President is so determined to have this BBL approved by
Congress that millions, perhaps billions are being spent for its
promotion all over Mindanao and the adjoining islands.

It must be

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approved because it is the only hope for peace in Mindanao and Sulu
archipelago.
Will it really bring peace?
I have been assigned here in the Apostolic Vicariate of Jolo
comprising the province of Sulu and Tawi-Tawi since 1999. As pastoral
coordinator and executive director of the Vicariate Justice, Peace, and
Integrity of Creation Ministry. I have conducted and participated in so
many peace related seminars and trainings in Jolo, Tawi-Tawi,
Zamboanga, Davao, Cotabato, Sultan Kudarat, Cagayan de Oro, Cebu,
Iloilo, Manila, Baguio, and even in Rome, Italy and in the USA.

We

have a lot of networking among ourselves as NGOs, with GOs, and


POs.

As against the question at hand, my experiences tell me the

following:

one, will autonomy succeed for the Muslims of Mindanao

and Sulu, and Tawi-Tawi?

There are big factions among them and

worst for Sulu and Tawi-Tawi who have all kinds of natural resources;
they are composed of so many islands. They are so far from the rest
and if the center of autonomy is in Cotabato area, they will be losing
and missing a lot. They are at the margin of Philippine leadership and
more so, even in an autonomy/mrjc

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BRHGonzales
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MR. VILLANUEVA.

They are at the margin of Philippine

leadership and more so, even in an autonomy.


The Bangsamoro autonomy being offered has not really been
agreed upon from the beginning by the two biggest factionsthe MILF
and the MNLF. In fact, at the expense of the MNLF, there have been
some railroading somewhere. The MNLF have been taken for granted
which resulted in that tragic Zamboanga siege, the collateral damage
of which up to now cries for healing and rehabilitation. Government
influenced media have been bringing the MNLF solely for it without
admitting its own mistake.
No. 3, what will happen to the MNLF after the approval of the
BBL?

Will it be Join us or else? Is there a Machiavellian snakehead

lurking somewhere?
No. 4, what about the minorities, indigenous peoples, Christians
living in the geographical bounderies if they have civil or criminal cases
like

land-grabbing,

robberies, killings, etcetera?

Will the

new

leadership take care of them? That is doubtful. Will their leadership


have a control over those for below?

The Mamasapano case is an

indication. Once the BBL is approved by Congress, consider to be the


victory of peace, the greatest legacy of President Aquino is achieved
and it might even get the Nobel Prize award. What now? Will there be
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peace here in Mindanao and Sulu Archipelago?

I hope to God that

there will be peace.


But there is a very possible scenario which Im afraid will happen
within the next five years if the approval is made. It is this: the BBL
with all its provisions when approved will create practically a
government within a government. This new government could gather
forces somehow and be very strong.

When that happens, the great

temptation would be that those of radical minds among them will seek
independence.

I dont blame them.

This has been their quest for

centuries. They were much ahead in the islands of Sulu and has been
in public governance at least 200 years before Magellan came to the
islands and give the name Las Islas Pilipinas. More than likely, their
demand will include all of Mindanao and Palawan. If that happens, we
will experience the greatest civil war there is. It might even result into
Muslims against Christians. I pray to the God of peace that this will
not happen. I do not want to lose the Muslims that I have learned to
love.
Thus, Im appealing to the President, to the MILF leadership and
to all those involved in the peace process, to all those who are sincere
in seeking for genuine, just and lasting peace in southern and western
Mindanao. It is still possible to postpone the approval so that a better
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alternative can be found that could be satisfactory to all with lesser


risk of rebellion and a win-win solution. Federalism could be the best
alternative but this will involve a big constitutional change because it
will be for the whole country. It will take some time to study, perhaps
two years. This will be the greatest challenge to whoever will be the
next president. But it is well worth it.
In federalism, there is a favorable autonomy and each state can
develop on their own with those who are at the margins being
subsidized by the central government initially. The USA is an example.
The Islamic centers in the states that we had the privilege to visit
shared to us how they live so freely as Muslims and how they are
accepted as such.
In federalism, many of these social evils, bad elements and
corruption that haunt us can be faced and better. Let us study and
prepare for this change. We should be tired by now living under the
so-called Democracy: Pinoy style.
Lastly, let us remember, peace is not made in documents but in
the hearts of men and women.
Thank you very much.
[Applause]
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THE CHAIRMAN (SEN. MARCOS).

Thank you very much,

Father, for your position which I will encapsulate, that there are
problems, as he has pointed out in the position paper, as to the
participation of the MNLF in the entire peace process.

And this is a

point that has been made several times over the hearings and it is an
important point that thein fact, even the OIC, the Organization for
Islamic Cooperation, pointed it out that the MNLF must be included in
all of these talks for it to succeed.

They must be included because

after all, they were the original organization which everyone was
dealing with the Philippine government, the OIC and all its memberstates and had come to two agreements with the Republic of the
Philippines, namely, the Tripoli Agreement of 1976 and finally, the
Jakarta Agreement of 1996.
So that is one of the more complicated problems that we are
having to deal with.
agreements

of

How the BBL will operate in the context of the

1976,

the

Tripoli

Agreement,

and

the

Jakarta

Agreement of 1996.
Furthermore, Father Villanueva has pointed out that we are
beginning to inch towards the idea of federalism in this country.

To

recount a little bit of our history, there was alreadybaka hindi ninyo
na naaalala pero noong Interim Batasang Pambansa, ang pagboto ng
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mga Batasan members was by region.

Papasok na tayo dapat sa

federalism. That was the original design. And so now, federalism as a


concept, has begun to be discussed again in light of the proposed
Bangsamoro Basic Law.
So we thank Father Villanueva for the points that he has raised
and certainly, they are well-noted by the Committee.
To follow, with the position paper from the MNLF will be Mr.
Habib Mujahab.
Mr. Mujahab, if you would take the floor, please.
MR. HASHIM.

Bis-mil-laa-hir Rah-maa-nir Raheem. Assalamu

alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh.


Honorable Senator Bongbong Marcos, Governor Toto Sakur Tan,
Vice Governor Sakur Tan, honorable mayors

of the municipalities of

Sulu, my brothers in the MNLF, the Tausug brothers in Sulu, our


brothers from the Armed Forces of the Philippines, thank you for giving
us the chance to present our side.
At the outset, wed like to inform you, Honorable Senator, that
the MNLF has been deliberately out--when the talks between the MILF
and the Philippine government started as early as 2004. I think it was
still Secretary Deles now who is the chief of the OPAPP and I said that
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why not allow the MNLF representative to sit down in the ongoing
talks, even as an observer only. I was advisedbhg

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MR. HASHIM.
government

and

the

I was advised to contact the Malaysian


Malaysian

government,

unfortunately,

was

reluctant. I tried to contact some leaders of the MILF. The reason was
that this is now the time for them to talk on the ongoing peace
process.

In short, we were actually deliberately forgotten in the

ongoing peace talks. The framework agreement stipulates the creation


of the Bangsamoro Republic in the five provinces, the present core
areas in ARMM. These areas are covered by the Tripoli Agreement of
1976 and the 1996 Peace Agreement.
representing the same areas.

The MNLF and the MILF are

There is, therefore, the conflict of

governance and conflict of territory. This is our problem now with the
passage of the BBL, which is now under consideration. It seems to me
that the voice of the MNLF came too late. But with your presence here
today, we hope that you would be able to protect the legacy of your
late father, Ferdinand Marcos.

He was the one who negotiated with

the Moro National Liberation Front at the height of conflict from 1998
up to 1974. If I vividly remember it right, your father sent emissary, I
talked to the MNLF by saying that you could ask anything under the
heat of the sun except independence. The demand of the Moros, as
headed by the MNLF, was not for autonomy. Autonomy was given to

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us by your late father which resulted in the signing of the Tripoli


Agreement in 1976.
There were successive talks known as the Jeddah Accord of 1987
after the EDSA Revolution. I happened to be the chief negotiator of
the MNLF but we had decided to call off the talks because of the
apparent violation or non-committance on the part of the GRP panel
headed then by Senator Pimentel and Ambassador Pelaez.

They

offered to us the 10 plus 3 formula. When we tried to find out what


is 10 plus 3, it is not actually 10 automatically given the autonomy but
to be subjected to a plebiscite to be followed by another three
provinces.
At this point, Honorable Senator, we are appealing to you that
the MNLF notwithstanding the apparent abrogation of Republic Act
1954 which created the ARMM, which actually is an implementation of
the 1973 Jakarta Accord to do something, I hope that there is still time
because we are faced with a dilemma, we are being excluded. When
you say Comprehensive Agreement of the Bangsamoro, this is
misleading. Actually, it is not comprehensive considering the fact that
the other stakeholders, especially the Moro National Liberation Front,
are not included. There has been an initiative on the part of the OIC
lately, the secretary general was trying to introduce some provisions in
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the Tripoli and Jakarta Accord into the BBL. Unfortunately, ourin the
MI refused and the government panel also refused. According to Iqbal,
when we had a talk on the auspices of the OIC under thehe said,
This is a done deal, we cannot do anything. Indeed, the matter is now
before the Senate and before the House of Representatives.
In this connection, Your Honor, unless and until the government
of the Philippines and the OIC and with the help of the Senate and
Congress would be able to find a formula, Im afraid that theof lasting
peace upon signing of the Bangsamoro Basic Law may not come to
realization.

Instead of lasting peace, Im afraid there will be lasting

conflict in Mindanao not only in the Sulu area but the whole of
Mindanao.

Because Mindanao used to be a Moro land, this belongs to

the Bangsamoro people.

We had then a

government.

Long before

the Philippine government was even formed, we had a government


which was sultanate in form and we had diplomatic relations with the
emperor of China at that time.
So we would like to inform you that the Moro National Liberation
Front irrespective of certain groupings is committed to the legacy left
by President Ferdinand Marcos. So that is autonomy. We did not ask
for autonomy but your father offered to us and we stand by the Tripoli
Agreement. So the problem now is, will the abrogration--abolition of
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the ARMM Law mean the abrogation also of the two previous
agreements?
I would like to state from the legal point of view that the Tripoli
Agreement is an international law and per Constitution of the
Philippines, it says that the Philippines renounces war as an instrument
of national policy and adopt the policy of freedom, equality, justice,
cooperation and amity with all nations. By abolishing ARMM, by legal
implication, the two previous agreements will also be abolished, then
our people, the Bangsamoro people headed by the Moro National
Liberation Front and their final peace agreement will then be abolished.
We would like to state here that we have no other alternative.
We have to exercise our last option, and the last option is
independence.
Thank you.
THE CHAIRMAN (SEN. MARCOS). Thank you very much, Mr.
Mujahab.
Before you leave the microphone, I would just like to ask a very
basic question. Mr. Mujahab, you have raised a point that has begun
to surface, that has begun to come out during the hearings especially
after the uprising in Zamboanga and some of the other actions that
were taken, that were claimed by the MNLF in protest to the continuing
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negotiations between the MILF and the government of the Philippines


to the exclusion of the MNLF and as you say, to use your words, the
abrogation of both the 1976 Tripoli Agreement and the 1996 Jakarta
Agreement. And so much of our work in the past few weeks has been
to try to find a modus vivendi, a way of working so that we continue to
respect and to recognize at the very least the Jakarta Agreement of
1996, would you have a suggestion as to how we can have the BBL
operate within the context of the agreements that the MNLF has
already signed with the government of the Philippines?
MR. HASHIM. Thank you, Your Honor.
We have two alternatives here. One is to go back to the original
Region IX and Region XII, and that is Region XII be given to the MILF
with the condition that they will protect the MNLF in the area; Region
IX, that includes Zamboanga Peninsula, Basilan, Sulu, Tawi-Tawi and
some parts of Palawan for the Moro National Liberation Front, if that
will be offered and perhaps we could talk to our brothers in the MI and
the LGUs, the different governors in the area.
Another

option,

Your

Honor,

is

assuming--and

believe

that/imee

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MR. HASHIM. and I believe that come what may, the BBL will
be passed even on its watered-down version. So there will be a future
Bangsamoro entity. So in a way, this will go through the plebiscite, so
I have talked to the OIC and even to our brothers in the MILF that
whatever areas will vote in favor of the future Bangsamoro entity, they
will just concentrate on their own respective area and they should not
go beyond. And in this connection, I am respectfully suggesting that
certain provisions on the BBL which says that 10 percent of a certain
locality outside of the core area can petition and join in. So we hope
that this be deleted from the BBL.

We cannot do anything for BBL

now, and the matter is now for Congress and the Senate.

And with

due respect, it seems that our good President Benigno Aquino, is close
to the idea really of including the MNLF on the ongoing BBL and also in
the establishment of the future Bangsamoro entity.
So again, Excellency, Your Honor, please, why not go back to the
old Regions IX and XII of your late father? There was relative peace at
that time. We were not at war with each other. Only the problem now
is of course my good friend Lobregat is saying. But on this line, Your
Honor, this is a legal move because Regions IX and XII and Region IX
came to exist by virtue of a plebiscite conducted.

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Now going back to the second option of the remaining provinces


outside the core area, 10 provinces, and that is, again, legal because
based on the Tripoli Agreement, 13 provinces has been given
autonomy. Now, 15 provinces. Assuming they will get five provinces,
I hope they will not get five provinces. We are opposing BBL especially
from BaSulTa.

Assuming they will get that, then why not establish

another autonomous area outside of the core area of the Bangsamoro


entity for our people, the Christian, the Muslims and the highlanders,
of course to be managed for the firstat least for the interim period of
say, three years, by the Moro National Liberation Front because the
Moro National Liberation Front has been fighting for the rights and
welfare of our people. When we say, Your Honor, our people, that
includes the non-Muslims residing therein.
THE CHAIRMAN (SEN. MARCOS). Thank you, Mr. Mujahab.
So the first proposal that you have made is essentially that we
will return to the structure as was established after the Tripoli
Agreement
MR. HASHIM. Yes.
THE CHAIRMAN (SEN. MARCOS).

where we have two

regions that are considered autonomous.

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The second position that you take is the establishment of the


Bangsamoro

core

territory.

One,

that

the

so-called

opt-in

mechanism will be removed.


MR. HASHIM. Yes.
THE CHAIRMAN (SEN. MARCOS). I think that most of us in
Congress agree with you on that score.
And secondly, that there be a study, at least, of how we may
establish another autonomous region so that we can be under the
auspices of the MNLF. Am I correct, Mr. Mujahab?
MR. HASHIM. Yes, sir. Yes. Yes.
THE CHAIRMAN (SEN. MARCOS). Very well.
MR. HASHIM. Thank you.
THE CHAIRMAN (SEN. MARCOS). Thank you very much.
Thank you for your presentation.
MR. HASHIM. Thank you, sir.
THE CHAIRMAN (SEN. MARCOS).

I will not take any

questions until all of the resource persons have spoken.


Im sorry. I have to, otherwise we will have questions on every
speaker and we might not get to the last one.
Im sorry.

Please be patient with me.

We will open the Floor

later on.

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Before I proceed, I would like to acknowledge the presence of


the spokesman of Sultan Esmail Kiram, the Sultan of Sulu and North
Borneo, Abraham Idjirani who is here and he will also be presenting a
position later on.
Can you still hear me?
Okay. Can you still hear me in spite of the rain? Yes? Okay.
Then we will proceed.
I would like now to call on Professor Abubakar Mohammad of the
Moro Reform Movement to present their paper as has been forwarded
to the Committee.
MR. MOHAMMAD.

Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa

barakatuh.
I was at the library of the University of the Philippines sometime
in 1973 and I had a chance to look into the newspaper a report on a
meeting at Malacaang presided by the late President Marcos in the
presence of his Cabinet members and the generals.
The late President asked how long it would take the Philippine
government to subdue the MNLF rebellion in the Southern Philippines.
The late Commodore Hernandez answered it will not take more than
three months.

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Then I heard also at the same university some Tausug talking as


to the whereabouts of brother Nur Missuari. And I heard them talking
that Professor Nur Missuari said that it would not take more than five
years for the moros to declare independence.
More than four decades ago today, look what is happening in
Sulu and throughout the Muslim areas in Mindanao, Palawan or even
Sabah.
Now what we are doing here is really telling, Your Honor, as to
what should be done so as to end this war. The Bangsamoro people,
the Tausug in particular, have been suffering from the holocaust of war
since the capture of Malacca by the Portuguese in 1511.

The

Spaniards, the Americans, the Japanese, until today we are suffering


from the vestiges of colonialism.
Aside from graft and corruption in the ARMM or even throughout
the Philippines, as evidenced by those who are in jail on the basis of
President Aquinos sincerity in the pursuit of justice, peace and
development. Good. But the question is, for how long well be going
on suffering under this/cbg

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MR. MOHAMMAD.

suffering under this predicament? Good! I

hopeI agree with the MNLF Mujahab. Well, what chance Bongbong
has to become president?

[applause]

And continue the work of his

great father. The Tripoli Agreement, Carmelo Barbero who was then a
Defense undersecretary was sent by the late president to Libya to sign
with Brother Nur the so-called Tripoli Agreement in 1976. But we all
know what happened.

Until today we are quarreling as to whether

this Agreement shall be on the basis of the Tripoli Agreement, Republic


Act 6734 or Republic Act 9054whats in a name, in the first place?
Your Honor, what is important to us, what matters most especially to
the Tausug is that the peace, the justice, the development they
deserve even under democratic system of government shall be given
to them. You know Nur Misuari, brother Nur Misuari founded the MNLF
in 1968 on the basis of his revolutionary or political hypothesis that the
Muslims, the Moros, the Bangsamoros cannot hope to develop
themselves so long they lead under the aegis of what he then called,
the Manila colonial government.
government

will

continue

Bangsamoro people.

Because according to him, Manila

neglecting,

discriminating

But now it is good.

against

the

This development

concerning sharing of wealth, sharing of power let alone normalization


for the meantime. What resources shall be shared? What power shall

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be shared? And by whom? The would share the resources and the
power, Your Honor?

Or only the elites of Manila and the generals?

Brother Nur has been going around the world telling people that he will
bring to the Hula, Agama, and Bangsa.

From 1968, not reckoning

time from the founding of the or Islam. And almost half a century,
but look at Allah, my native community.

Look at Takut-Takut, my

neighbor in Tulay and Busbus.


THE CHAIRMAN (SEN. MARCOS).

Professor, please make

your comments in either English or Filipino only because the people


doing the transcription will not speak the local
MR. MOHAMMAD.

Okay.

Yes.

Your Honor, I oblige.

Now,

Your Honor, what is important here is that PNoy is committed to give


justice, peace, and development to all Filipinos including, of course,
the Bangsamoro people, the Tausug, who are, shall we say, still part
and parcel citizens of the Philippines.

But only sad to note, Your

Honor, just this morning when I came here I met some friends who are
sympathetic still with Brother Nur.

And he told me that the great

majority of the Tausug leaders have gone to the office of the Provincial
Governor, Abdusakur Tan II, who informed the governor that, Sorry,
they are opposed to the signing of the BBL by Congress, Your Honor.
Because they said that the powers that be, could it be the Aquino

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administration, who denied them the right to representation? I asked


them, Well, the people from the ARMM have been here talking about
BBL. Dont tell me you were not informed as to what is in the BBL.
But I tell you, my friends, ladies, and gentlemen, especially those of
you who do not know how to read or speak English, it would be very
hard to understand the BBL, Your Honor.

Even I, I only lack two

subjects to finish my Ll.B., at the I could hardly understand what is


in the BBL. But here, I will just tell you this to make the story short,
please see to it that the provisions in the BBL shall afford the
Bangsamoro justice, peace, and development which they deserve even
under the Constitution of the Philippines which if implemented shall be
down to giving justice to the Bangsamoro people, to the Moros, to the
Muslims especially the Tausug.
Thank you very much. [applause]
THE CHAIRMAN (SEN. MARCOS).

Thank you very much,

Professor Abubakar Mohammad.


Again, to recapitulate, I believe that in the view of the Professor,
the BBL, he is in favor of it. But, again, with some adjustments, but in
the end, essentiallyplease correct me if Im wrong, Professor
essentially, you feel that the BBL will be a solution to bring peace to
Muslim Mindanao.

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MR. MOHAMMAD. Sa palagay ko, Your Honor, in the word of


Erich Fromm, ang problema parang characterological. Kaya nga sinabi
ko na kay Colonel Arujado (?), Sir, sa palagay ko ang problema dito
sa Sulu hindi lang military.
cetera, et cetera.

Pero attitudinal, characterological, et

There are many doctors here and other Muslim

professionals who are, I think, more knowledgeable of history and


English than I am.

Although sometimes I say, Wala nang mas

marunong sa akin, Mr. Senador. Pero I realized marami talaga itong


mga bright people. Only sometimes they do not come out and speak
of what they have in mind relative to what is obtaining in our area of
responsibility.
Thank you.
THE CHAIRMAN (SEN. MARCOS).

Thank you, Professor.

Thank you for your passionate presentation on the subject.


I think next to speak will be from the Council of Royal Datus,
Datu Albi Julkarnain, to present a position of the Datus who I believe,
if Im not mistaken, this may be one of the first opportunities for the
datus to weigh in on the subject of the BBL.
So, Datu Julkarnain, you have the floor.

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MR. JULKARNAIN.

Honorable Senator Ferdinand Marcos, Jr.,

Honorable Governor Abdusakur Tan II, Honorable Vice Governor


Abdusakur Tan, distinguished guests/mrjc

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MR.

JULKARNAIN.

distinguished

guests,

ladies

and

gentlemen.
I am representing the voice of the royal datus and families and
other adherents of the Sultanate of Sulu.
As you have observed, Honorable Senator, all these people
presenting talks about their opinions but I have never heard talking
about Sulu Sultanate when, in fact, Sulu Sultanate is known
internationally.

So it is really because maybe that Sulu Sultanate is

not given any chance to talk before a forum like this. I will not talk
further but I have prefer to read our petition.
This petition is from the royal concernedI repeatconcerned
royal datus, royal princesses, dayang-dayangs, sharifs, traditional
leaders, religious leaders and adherents to the honorable members of
Philippine Congress to exclude the historical statehood realm of the
Sultanate of Sulu and North Borneo from the administrative jurisdiction
of proposed Bangsamoro juridical entity as stipulated in the draft
Bangsamoro Basic Law.
Whereas, we, the royal datus, royal princesses, sharifs and
other traditional leaders of the Sultanate of Sulu and North Borneo,
without any element of coercion, degree of influence or iota of
pressure from any individual or institution, hereby collectively and
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solidly exercise our rights to free expression and self-determination to


petition the honorable members of the Philippine Congress to exclude
our ancien de jure and de facto monarchical state from the proposed
core territory as stipulated in the draft of Bangsa Basic Law

for the

following reasons and justification:


(1) Even before the advent of the United States of America on
July 4, 1776 and the Republic of the Philippines on July 4, 1946, the
Sultanate of Sulu and North Borneo was already an internationally
recognized, independent and sovereign monarchy having been founded
based on the Koranic doctrine of statehood by Sayyed Abubakar,
otherwise known by his regal name as Sultan Sharif Ul-Hashim, its first
sultan enthroned on November 17, 1405, according to the latest
historical document.
No. 2 justification:

The Sultanate of Sulu had never been

concurred and colonized by any foreign power as acknowledged and


confirmed by no less than the United States of America as evidenced
by the treaties it entered into with the Sultanate such as the Bates
Treaty of August 20, 1899 which stipulated under Article 1 in its Arabic
text which states, The support, the aid and the protection of Sulu
islands and archipelago are in the American nation. The United States
even agreed and recognized the government of the Sultanate of Sulu.
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The Carpenter Agreement is another document attesting to the fact


that Sulu Sultanate was still sovereign until 1914.
The abrogation of Bates Treaty was premised upon other
matters that the de jure sovereignty of sultan who subsequently have
not lost neither by conquest nor otherwise relinquished so far as
concerned to internal affairs of the government of Sulu archipelago on
March 22, 1915.
It is further attested by internationally renowned and respected
historian and author, particularly book authored by George A. Marcum,
entitled The Government of the Philippine Islands, published in New
York in 1916, reads, Sulu Sultanate remained practically independent
for 425 years. Its decline was not caused by national recognition(?) or
political dimensions but by hostility, aggression of its diversity. The
which was

Sulus resistance with Spanish domination of their

opposition and bravery in battle in their obstinate passive resistance in


peace battled all Spanish effort to subvert their political organization
or gain a simple without paying too dearly for it.
The Sulu Sultanate in North Borneo, despite the fact that it
never fell under the sovereignty of the crown of Spain by virtue of
conquest or other modes of territorial acquisition and, therefore, was
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not colonial possession, was sold and ceded by Spain to the United
States being the best victor of the Spanish-American regime.
As tragic consequence of the illegal sale and cession of
Sultanate of the Sulu in North Borneo, the United States by Spain, the
Americans took possession of this territory starting May 19, 1899. And
shortly after, joined it arbitrarily with the Sultanate of Mindanao to
form a military district and later on, was organized as a Moro Province
by virtue of the Philippine Commission Act 781 in June 1901.
In 1924, a petition was addressed to the United States Congress
by the delegation of Sulu sultan and royal datus during their visit to
Governor Wood Misson(?).

The United States Congress placed it on

record, a declaration of rights and purpose.


On July 4, 1946, when the Philippines was granted selfgovernment by virtue of the Tydings-McDuffie Law, the Sultanate of
Sulu and North Borneo, despite the petition of Sulu sultan and the
prominent Muslim leaders of Sulu to the Congress of the United States,
our monarchical states was finally incorporated to the body politics of
the Republic of the Philippines and became a part of the national
territory by virtue of the December 10, 1898 Treaty of Paris.
Whereas, the Sultanate of Sulu in Borneo was accorded the
political status of the United States protectorate under the Bates
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Treaty of 1899, confirming the treaty of 1878 between Spain and


Sultanate of Sulu.

The United States granted to give the Muslim

inhabitants of Sulu archipelago their independence-homeland.


Whereas, notwithstanding all the aforecited political injustices
and inequities committed against us, the royal datus, the royal
princesses and other traditional leaders, adherents with the full
awareness of our de jure proprietary rights and sovereignty over our
ancient monarchical states based on a doctrine of nobility and royalty,
particularly on the principle of juris sanguinis or right of blood which is
perpetual irrevocable, we remain uncomplaining, law-abiding passive
and thereby resulted to the use of force and violence against the
Republic of the Philippine to reclaim or restore our historical statehood
ever since we were unjustly disposed of our independence, sovereignty
and sacred homeland.
Whereas, now, with the eminent passage of the Bangsamoro
Basic Law, the Sultanate of Sulu and North Borneo faces the most
demeaning and unfortunate prospect of being reduced to just a
political subdivision of a new political entity which has no factual and
legal foundation in history relevance to the Sultanate of Sulu and North
Borneo.

It would be a terrible relegation and gross violation to our


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political heritage and its historical prominence and distinction as the


first sovereign nation/bhg

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MR. JULKARNAIN.

as the first sovereign nation that was

ever established in this part of the globe if we just accept tragic


destiny as mimic and subservient as a lamb, whereas we earnestly,
solemnly and respectfully petition the Congress of the Philippines for
the exclusion of the ancient realm of the Sultanate of Sulu and North
Borneo from the territorial jurisdiction of the proposed Bangsamoro
political entity as envisioned in the draft Bangsamoro Basic Law. It is
our collected desire and preference that the Sultanate of Sulu and
North Borneo be created by another act of Congress as another
autonomous region separate from the ARMM.

This will be most

wholeheartedly welcome and eternally appreciated by the inhabitants


of Sulu archipelago in the interest of permanent peace and fulfillment
of political aspiration of certain nation.
Now, therefore, we fervently pray for the Almighty God most
gracious and most merciful that the honorable members of the
Philippine Congress will act judiciously and magnificently on the
petition in the name of justice, liberty, peace, democracy in our
fundamental universal and inalienable human rights through selfdetermination

as

enshrined

and

guaranteed

in

the

Universal

Declaration on Human Rights promulgated and approved by the United


Nations.
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Thats all, Your Honor, Senator.


THE CHAIRMAN (SEN. MARCOS). Thank you very much, Datu
Julkarnain.
Again, to recapitulate the essential proposal that you are making
is that the Sultanate of Sulu and North Borneo be excluded from the
proposed Bangsamoro core territory and that instead a separate
autonomous region be created to include the Sulu archipelago and
North Borneo. Am I correct in my understanding?
MR. JULKARNAIN. Yes, Your Honor.
THE CHAIRMAN (SEN. MARCOS).

Thank you very much,

Datu.
I would just like to ask a very quick question. You have in one of
your paragraphs that this petition be officially furnished His Excellency,
the president of the United States through the ambassador of the
United States to the Philippines, has this been done?

Have you

transmitted this petition to the--?


MR. JULKARNAIN.

Not yet, Your Honor, because we are

waiting for your advice. Why we are doing this? Because the United
States was part of destroying the institution of Sultanate of Sulu and
maybe by this time they will realize their mistakes. But if you will not

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give any advice today, then we are going to proceed sending the copy
of this petition to the United States ambassador
THE CHAIRMAN (SEN. MARCOS).

Actually, I was going to

offer to bring your petition to the ambassador of the United States to


be transmitted to the president of the United States, if you so agree.
MR. JULKARNAIN. Thank you very much.
THE

CHAIRMAN

(SEN.

MARCOS).

Thank

you,

Datu

Julkarnain.
I think since we have started on the subject of the Sultanate of
Sulus role in history and the evolution of this entire situation, I think it
is time that we hear from the secretary general of the Sultanate of
Sulu and North Borneo, Abraham Idjirani. He is today the spokesman
of Sultan Ismael Kiram II.
So, Secretary General, if you would now please take the floor
and please present the position that you have transmitted to the
Committee.
MR. IDJIRANI. Thank you very much, Your Honor.
The

honorable

Senator

Ferdinand

Romualdez

Marcos;

the

honorable governor of Sulu, Abdusakur Toto Tan; the honorable vice


governor, his father, Hadji Abdusakur Tan; honorable Congressman
Lagdameo; members of the local government units of the Province of
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Sulu;

members

of

the

Bangsamoro

Transition

Commission;

representatives of OPAPP; representatives of the Office of the


Executive Secretary, Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullahi taAllah wa
barakatuh.
Your Honor, we appreciate your presence today.

This is a

landmark and historic event facilitated by the honorable Governor


Abdusakur

Toto

Tan and the

honorable

Vice

Governor

Hadji

Abdusakur Tan.
At the outset, Your Honor, may I strongly suggest in view of the
fact

that

you

now

consider

the

historical

background

which,

unfortunately, under the BBL, the historical background was not the
basis of formulating the issue for a separate Senate committee hearing
in Manila inviting all the sultanates and the royal families in the
province of Sulu, including Sultanate of Maguindanao who--I can attest
to the fact that during the sultanates meeting in Maguindanao, the
Sultanate of Maguindanao was the first to oppose for the signing of
their endorsement regarding the Bangsamoro Basic Law.
Therefore, Your Honor, again I would like to reiterate inasmuch
as your presence resembled that of history when only your late father
was the only president, except President Diosdado Macapagal, who
willingly invited the royal families comprising the descendants of late
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Sultan Ismael Kiram I, of the late Sultan Punjungan Kiram and other
nine principal heirs for a Malacaang meeting in order to resolve the
issue of Sabah which, unfortunately, became the prelude of the
Mindanao conflict.
Your Honor, the BBL is drafted in haste.

History reminds us,

Your Honor, that upon the signing of the December 10, 1898 Treaty of
Paris, the same political mode was adopted when Mindanao, Sulu and
Palawan was ceded unfortunately by Spain to the United States of
America.

Today, 100 years, 110 years later, our brethren from

mainland Mindanao is now chartering the future destiny of the Bangsa


Sulu people. These Bangsa Sulu people, Your Honor, are the Tausug,
the Sama Bangingi, the Sama Tawi-Tawi, the Sama Laut,

the Jama

Mapun, the Iyakans and other highlanders that are inhabitants of the
Sulu archipelago.

And this, Your Honor, since the position of the

Sultanate is anchored on historic basis which unfortunately the BBL


failed to realize the historical importance, then we appeal to you to do
consider it, to rectify the historical betrayal of the historical truth of the
Sultanate of Sulu.
Your Honor, there are various concerns of the Sultanate in behalf
of the Bangsa Sulu people in the archipelago of Sulu. But I would like
to emphasize, Your Honor, that the leadership of the province of Sulu
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like the local government units of Sulu and the Sultanate of Sulu are in
one with the Filipino people in the search for peace and unity.
However, Your Honor, the only difference that the mode that we would
like to achieve is different from that of the MILF and, therefore, we
appeal to the national government/imee

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MR. IDJIRANI.

to the national government never, never to

consider us as spoiler of peace insofar that we cannot agree with the


modes now drafted in the BBL.
As I have emphasized in the position paper, Your Honor, we have
submitted for your perusal, allow me to cite the first opposition of the
Sultanate of Sulu.
First fact of the opposition, Your Honor, of the Sultanate of Sulu
is what is the reason why there is a change of the historic name of
Sulu Sea to Bangsamoro Water? If we again look back at history, Your
Honor, the Sulu Sea is a name Laut Sulu, recognized even by ancient
historian of China because it is a vast sea that shielded the sovereignty
of the Sultanate of Sulu in the middle of the Sulu Sea. And because of
that recognition, Your Honor, including the Governor of Sulu and Vice
Governor of Sulu and the honorable member of Congress in the person
of Congressman Lagdameo, the Sultanate of Sulu then the East
King(?) of Sulu, entered into a treaty with China in the status of an
independent tributary state. In the position of the Sultanate of Sulu
and the Bangsa-Sulu people, Your Honor, this will strengthen the
position of the future of MILF-led assembly to come up with a legal
measure for the purpose of dropping the Sabah claim unless,
otherwise, Your Honor, the MILF will use rightly the definition of the
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United Nations Convention Law of the Sea which occupies more than
200 nautical miles.

Now if that definition of UNCLOS under the

initiative of the Bangsamoro people will be wrongly used by the MILF,


it will redound to the political advantage of the Malaysian Federation.
Your Honor, the second position which we would like to
emphasize here is Article VI, Section 5 of the BBL.
We consider this provision of the BBL as abandonment of events
in history whose historic and legal significance towards treating and
recognizing the status of the former royal sovereign leaders of the
Sultanate in the BBL may have the political influence and direction of
external nations.
The precise objective, Your Honor, of the BBL on Article VI,
Section 5, on the council of leaders failed to satisfy leaders of the
Sultanate institution and their constituents aspiring for transparency in
consonance with the requirements in a parliamentary form.
Your Honor, if you allow me to bring your attention to the
government affairs of Sabah. In Sabah, Malaysia, for instance, Your
Honor, in regard to the council of leaders, recognize the ketua
kampung.

The ketua kampung is responsible for resolving issues

affecting their community.

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Now, the function of ketu kampung, Your Honor, may not be the
same as that of the council of leaders to be drafted in the BBL but it
has to define who are these council of leaders in order, for instance, if
the BBL wishes to involve the participation of the sultanates in the
archipelago of Sulu in a private capacity, then it would provide
enhancement of cooperation in protecting the territorial boundary of
the Sulu archipelago which I believe the Honorable Governor of Sulu,
Abdusakur Toto Tan, and the Vice Governor of Sulu, Hadji Abdusakur
Tan, would not like the future generations to shoulder the high cost of
defending national territories and boundaries.
For this, Your Honor, let me go to the third fact of opposing the
BBL on the part of the Sultanate of Sulu. Article VII, Section 5 of the
BBL on Classification and Allocation of Seats. Now, to us, Your Honor,
to the Bangsa-Sulu people in the archipelago of Sulu who are
marginalized by the 40 years of conflict, would like to appeal to Your
Honor because this provision, if not rectified, would undermine the
weak, the poor, and the least affluent candidate seeking a seat in
public office.
Your Honor, if the BBL intends to establish a parliamentary
system, then the allocation and classification of seats must be
patterned like that of Great Britain and Northern Ireland whereby, Your
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Honor, there is a House of Commons, the assembly to elect for the


Prime Minister or Chief Minister, and the House of Lords whereby it is
well represented by the sullied, by the datus, and other royalties be
given the chance to participate in chartering the destiny of the
Philippines. Because, Your Honor, if the BBL would not consider that,
that is not aimed to establish a regional goal, a long-lasting regional
goal. That is why, Your Honor, in the view of the Bangsa-Sulu people,
please let the national government analyze that the BBL should not
become an alternative, as they say, for war because if that is the
consideration of our national government, then the policy of national
government is only an appeasement policy, whereby it will not attain
national lasting goals in our part of the Republic of the Philippines.
Your Honor, the third fact is about Article VIII, Section 2 of the
BBL which emphasizes the appointment of Wali.

In the Bahasa,

Tausug, Your Honor, wali is an implied consent of a father or kaus


bahan meaning, side from the father side to give consent so that his
daughter could be wedded to the groom of another father.
Now, considering, Your Honor, the diversities of custom and
tradition, it needs to clarify what wali is, otherwise the BBL might be
pointing out to a non-sultan of the Philippines.

In order that by

pronouncement of the title of the Chief Minister or a Prime Minister,


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thats the only time that his function and powers can be officially and
legally considered.
Fifth fact of opposing the BBL, Your Honor, which I need not to
emphasize more because it is in the position paper that we have
submitted to you, why the MILF-led BBL did not tackle the socioeconomic conditions, political status, and present predicament of
Filipino refugees in Sabah? Is it the dictation of external forces, Your
Honor?
Now, I need not explain more because there are many speakers
which also the explanation is found in the position paper we have
submitted to your secretariat, copy furnished the office of the
Governor including different embassies which we, if we return to
Manila, we will provide all, the position paper of the Sultanate to be
submitted and delivered personally by the Secretary General to the
different embassies.
THE CHAIRMAN (SEN. MARCOS).

But, Secretary General, I

think for the enlightenment of those who have not read the position
paper, please expand on the fifth fact wherein the social economic
conditions/cbg

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THE

CHAIRMAN

(SEN.

MARCOS).

social

economic

conditions, and the political status of those Filipino refugees in North


Borneo has not been attended to by the BBL, so perhaps you could
give us at least a short overview.
MR. IDJIRANI.

Your Honor, if I may read in toto.

The

Sultanate viewed the abandonment of the state of affairs of the


refugees as an act of betrayal to the refugees social, moral, and
spiritual responsibilities by Muslim leaders who put responsibly their
state of affairs in their present predicament after the eruption of the
war in Mindanao and the Sulu Archipelago areas.
Now, Your Honor, in the position paper that we have submitted
to you, the pictures are all there.

Because we would like that what

the Sultanate of Sulu, in behalf of the Bangsa Sulu people, is


submitting to you now is supported by evidence.

Therefore, Your

Honor, with the ongoing Malaysian act of deporting the Filipino


refugees, this is the subject of the letter that the Sultanate of Sulu had
submitted to Malacaang, but
bureaucratic mess.

Malacaang pronounced it lost in the

Because in that letter, Your Honor, of 2012 we

requested the new president of the Republic of the Philippines for the
creation and establishment of their Sabah Refugee Commission so that
if there are situations like this in the future to come up, the President

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of the Philippines need not anymore advise for the creation of an


interagency committee undertaking composed of different government
agencies.

But the institutionalized institution regarding taking the

welfare and conditions of the Sabah refugees would be taken care


immediately. Now, that is the reason, Your Honor, of our question why
the BBL did not include in tackling this issue.
Now, as I said, Your Honor, I would also like to give space for
the other speakers.
Lastly, the six facts of opposing the BBL is the concurrence of the
government of the Philippine panel to agree for the inclusion of the
Sulu Archipelago comprising Basilan, Sulu, and Tawi-Tawi under the
coverage of the CAB and FAB is a wanton violation, Your Honor. Under
the political concept of a trust territory under

the United States

protectorate status incorporated by the United States of America into


Philippine Commonwealth in 1935.
The protectorate status of the Sulu Archipelago which we would
like to emphasize, Your Honor, is still in effect considering that upon
the inclusion of Mindanao, Sulu, and Palawan into the Philippine
Commonwealth in 1935, the sole agreement that carried the moral
obligation of the United States government until now under the 1915
Kiram-Carpenter Agreement was not abrogated upon the inclusion of

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Mindanao, Sulu, and Palawan. That is why in the conversations we had


with the governor of Sulu who is loyal to the Constitution of the
Philippines, I brought up the idea this might be the cause for the
balkanization of Mindanao, Sulu, and Palawan if the BBL fail to address
this problem.
Because, Your Honor, lastly, the transfer of this territory under
the complete governance of BBL of the MILF without transparency is
unacceptable, not only to the MNLF, but to the entire inhabitants of
Basilan, Sulu, and Tawi-Tawi.

For this reason, Your Honor, the

Sultanate of Sulu proposes that you consider yourself to be the


president of the next Republic of the Philippines.
Thank you very much. [applause]
THE CHAIRMAN (SEN. MARCOS).
Secretary-General

Idjirani,

not

only

for

Thank you very much,


your

very

eloquent

presentation, but also for your expressions of support which we will


have to attend to at a later time.
Again, to recapitulate, the essential points that were made by
Secretary-General Idjirani has been that he emphasizes the point that
the Sultanate of Sulu and North Borneo should not be included in the
Bangsamoro core territory, and again that there be again a separate
entity created for the Sultanate of Sulu recognizing the historical

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prerogatives that have been recognized bynot only Spain, but the
United States and, subsequently, the Republic of the Philippines. That
is a point again that has been made not only by previous speakers but
also in other hearings.

Just for the information of all of those

because there has been an observation that in the process of


negotiating

the

comprehensive

agreement

and

the

framework

agreement, and finally the drafting of the BBL, the Sultanates were not
consulted at any point in the process. And to remedy the situation, I
have scheduled on May 18 a hearing specifically dedicated to all the
Sultanates and I would like to remind them of our invitation to come to
Manila to bring their opinions to Congress so that we can say thatI
beg your pardon.

I was just informed that I have misspoke, hindi pala

May 18, May 25. May 18 is, in fact, the hearing that is dedicated to
the MNLF. So these are the two hearings that are going to be following
our hearings here and in Zamboanga. And so, please, all of those who
have something to say, and have an opinion to express are invited to
do so in those hearings.
Once again to return to the position paper of Secretary-General
Idjirani, the plight of Filipino refugees in Northern Sabah is also a point
which has been made, and I have to agree, and I have to accept that
this is the first time that an advocacy has been made specifically for

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those Filipino refugees who, at this moment, are still in limbo in terms
of their status, and in terms of their lives, as their lives have been put
on hold. And the policy of Malaysia towards them has not really been
clarified. So I think that is essentially what the Secretary-General had
hoped to communicate, and the Committee has heard your opinions as
representative of the Sultanate of Sulu.

We will once again speak

during the hearings in Manila.


Thank you very much, Secretary-General, for your presentation.
I would like now to call on the next group that would like to
present

paper

from

the

Tausug

Active

Youth

Organization,

Incorporated. Could I call on now Timonthy Ijiran to take the floor and
present their position paper. [applause]
MR. ISMAEL. assalamu alaikum warahmatulahi wa barakatuh.
On behalf of Mr. Timothy Ijiran, I am Aljiber Ismael, vice
president of Tausug Active Youth Organization, Incorporated.
Your Honor, and members of the Senate committees, maraming
salamat po sa pahintulot makapagbigay ng pahayag/mrjc

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MR. ISMAEL.

makapagbigay ng pahayag at mabigyan ng

pagkakataon ang kabataan tulad namin na maging bahagi ng anumang


hakbang na magbubukas sa bagong daan tungo sa hinaharap na hindi
lamang sa Sulu kundi sa buong rehiyon ng bansa.
And we have said, Your Honor, that the youth are the inheritors
of the future. In such as we hope that we can have the opportunity
that leaves even merely a glitter the future will be good in just for us
in posterity.
The young generation of Sulu hopes to be given a that lies
ahead in keeping in a view and concerns in security and interruption
education of job opportunities and development of skills in lieu of a
formal education and a freedom to be who we are and proud to be a
young Tausug.
And turo ng karanasan ay nasaksihan o naipaalam sa amin
pagkalipas ng unang peace agreement ng 1996. Ang mga naulila sa
digmaan o the orphans of war in search for peace in their father,
brother,

uncles

have

shed

the

lives

for

they

realized.

Ang

kinahantungan po nila ay ang pagsanib sa mga armadong kilusan na


hindi dahilan na wala silang malilingon o mag-aaruga sa kanila. Ayaw
po namin, Your Honor, a similar fate awaits our generation--the next
generation of youth after us.
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Maraming salamat po.


Mayaman po ang Mindanao at sana po ang yaman na iyon ay
matitikman namin, Your Honor. And give us the peace thats just fair
and comprehensive; peace that is similar to the sun that never
chooses where the shades and lights to be
It is no less than the recognition of supreme law that the land
recognize the vital role of the youth in the nation-building enshrined in
1987

Philippine

Constitution,

asserting

participate in public and civic affairs.

our

constitutional

right,

The Tausug Active Youth

Organization Incorporated, Securities and Exchange Commisstion-registered,

and

National

Youth

Commission--registered

activated

consortium of youth organization in Sulu.


Wed like to submit to the Senate committees, we are able to
submit a position on the inclusion of the youth sector representative in
a Bangsamoro parliament to provide in a proposed Bangsamoro Basic
Law. We strongly believe that there is no lack of talent or passion to
serve

among

Filipino

youth,

only

we

should

be

given

equal

opportunities with assurance that a level playing field will be provided


for those who wish to involve themselves in serving their fellowmen.

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At this juncture, Your Honor, allow me to call Ms. Fadzinya


Kahalan

regarding

the

position

paper

of

Tausug

Active

Youth

Organization Incorporated.
THE CHAIRMAN (SEN. MARCOS).

Thank you, Vice President

Aljiber Ismael.
Will the lady please, kindly introduce yourself? Hindi ka namin
nailista dito sa magsasalita. So please.
MR. ISMAEL.

Yes, Your Honor.

I am Aljiber Ismael po, vice president po ng Tausug Active Youth


Organization.
In behalf of Mr. Timothy Ijiran, wala po siya dito, Your Honor.
THE CHAIRMAN (SEN. MARCOS).

Yes.

I understand.

But

you have asked the young lady to be the one to articulate the other
points that you would like to make. We would just like to identify her
for the record.
MS. KAHALAN.

Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullahi talah.

Good afternoon.
THE CHAIRMAN (SEN. MARCOS).
MS.

KAHALAN.

Tausug

Good afternoon.

Active

Youth

Organization,

Incorporated, SEC-registered and NYC-accredited consortium of youth


organization

in

Sulu.

Position

paper

on

the

youth

sectoral
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representation in the Bangsamoro parliament as provided in the draft


Bangsamoro Basic Law.
Your Honor, this is a persistent call from the youth of Sulu for
the inclusion of the youth sector as among those entitled to reserve
seats in the soon-to-be-created Bangsamoro parliament, thus, the
reason.

Article VII, Section 5, classification and allocation of seats

states that reserved seats--sector representatives constituting 10


percent of the members of parliament, including two reserve seats
each for non-Moro indigenous communities and settler communities.
Women shall also have reserved seats.
The arguments are as follows:

Article II, Declaration of

Principles and State Policies, Section 13 of the 1987 Philippine


Constitution provides: The state recognizes the vital role of the youth
in nation building and shall promote and protect their physical, moral,
spiritual, intellectual and social well-being.

It shall inculcate in the

youth patriotism and nationalism and encourage their involvement in


public and civic affairs.
The right of children in young people to participate in governance
has been recognized by the Philippine government to PD 603 or the
Child and Youth Welfare Code.

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It is also further protected in the Local Government Code (LGC),


Republic Act 7160, as amended by Republic Act 9164 which is, Your
Honor, an Act Providing for Synchronized Barangay in Sangguniang
Kabataan Elections, Amending Republic Act No. 7160, as Amended,
Otherwise Known as the Local Government 1991, and for Other
Purposes.
Your Honor, we propose the inclusion, due to its contrary to the
aforementioned Republic Act 9164. Surprisingly, youth representation
is not included in the draft of the Bangsamoro Basic Law.

The law

encouraged active participation of youth people in local governance.


The future of good governance also rests on the shoulders of the
youth.

It is vital that young people actively participate in the

development of their communities.

Therefore, the urgent need to

include a reserve seat for the youth to take part in the Bangsamoro
parliament.

As mentioned in Article VII, Bangsamoro government is

being claimed, signed by Yajmi(?) A. Tan, president;

Timothy A.

Ijiran, adviser; and also Datu Yldon T. Kiram, adviser.


Thank you.
THE CHAIRMAN (SEN. MARCOS).

Thank you for that

proposal from the Tausug Active Youth Organization.

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You are proposing that we include as one of the reserve seats as


a sectoral representative a member from the youth organization. Am I
correct?
MS. KAHALAN.

Yes, sir.

THE CHAIRMAN (SEN. MARCOS).


encourage you to ask for more.

Only one seat, not more. I

You have to understand, youre

talking to somebody who has worked in the youth movement since I


was--well, a member of the youth movement.
So again, the issue of youth representation, together with
womens representation, has been something that has been discussed
before and it is something that I have brought up in various venues
concerning BBL for the specific reason that it is recognized and has
been recognized not only by the Philippine government but many of
our commentators historically that the youth movement is an
important part of the Philippine society and is an essential part, in fact,
of the state and its governance.

And so that is a well-recognized

concept or well-recognized principle and it is something that has


proven itself in the past in several instances.
So we thank you for that and that will certainly be noted by the
Committee in its deliberations when we introduce amendments to the
draft BBL as it has been given us.
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Thank you very much for your position, unless theres something
else youd like to add--no. Okay.
Thank you.
MS. KAHALAN.

Thank you.

THE CHAIRMAN (SEN. MARCOS).

Thank you very much.

We now move on to the next group who we can, I suppose,


define as being members of the academe. They are here to present
also, I believe, a position paper to, once again, introduce the ladies
and gentlemen who comprise at least this ad hoc group for now. It is
not actually a formal aggrupation but merely something that has
evolved.
Atty. Benedicto Bacani, the executive director of the Institute for
Autonomy and Governancebrhg

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THE CHAIRMAN (SEN. MARCOS).

of the Institute for

Autonomy and Governance. He will be giving us the joint position of-He is joined by Professor Rey Danilo Lacson, also of the Institute for
Autonomy and Governance; and also Ms. Fatima Rasul, the Philippine
Council on Islam and Democracy; Atty. Salma Rasul, Philippine Council
on Islam and Democracy; Professor Edmund Tayao of LOGODEF and
Atty. Meltino Sibulan of--Im sorry, he is not included in that group.
So, Atty. Bacani, perhaps you could explain the position paper
that the academe group, we will call you, the think tanks and the
academe have come up with. So, Atty. Bacani, please proceed.
MR. BACANI.

Thank you, Senator Marcos, and Your Honors.

Magandang hapon po sa inyong lahat.


For the record, Im speaking on behalf of four organizations-academic organizations: IAG, the PCID, ZABIDA and the Local
Government Development Foundation, Inc.

We are a consortium of

think tanks thats running a program called Pro-Politics for Peace and
we do studies, we do consultations on how to improve the political
environment for the Mindanao peace process in general, which means
the broader peace process and not just the GPH-MILF peace process.
So we are independent organizations.

We are not affiliated with

government, nor are we affiliated with any of the Moro fronts, nor are
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we part of any political party. So we approach issues in an academic


consultative consensus-building manner.
THE CHAIRMAN (SEN. MARCOS). Thank you.
MR. BACANI.

What I want to present, Your Honor, Senator

Marcos, is just the result of the various fora that we conducted in


BaSulTa--in Basilan, Sulu, Tawi-Tawi and we conducted no less than
five fora on the BBL.

The latest of which was yesterday, yesterday

here in Sulu and I would like, for the record, to submit to the
Secretariat the policy reports of those consultations that have been
made. So we will submit these to the Secretariat.
THE CHAIRMAN (SEN. MARCOS). Yes. Thank you. We would
be happy to receive those reports.
MR. BACANI.

Very briefly, Senator, I just would like to point

out the dominant themes and issues that have easen in these forum
consultations. Just to inform the Committee on these dominant
themes, there are six or actually six of them, particularly in the
province of Sulu. The first one is, we call it inclusivity, the issue of
inclusivity, and that is inclusivity in both process of coming up with the
BBL and the substance of the BBL. And this includes issues of identity.
We know for a fact that Sulu is the bastion of that proud Tausugs and
the Moro National Liberation Front.

In all the fora and consultations


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that we have conducted, always the issue of whether the BBL is really
inclusive, whether the mechanisms and institutions that are in the BBL
are actually inclusive of all the groups in the Bangsamoro by ethnicity,
by ideology--of course, as long as the ideology is nonviolent--and by
political persuasion.
So this particular issue can be summarized or capsulized by the
phrase, Kasali ba talaga kami o kami ang target ng BBL? So this has
been a recurring theme in fora involving some political leaders, ARMM
employees because of the abolition of the Autonomous Region in
Muslim Mindanao.

And there were fears and concerns about their

security of tenure. One of the things that have been mentioned here, I
was surprised myself, Mr. Senator, because when we talk of issue of
inclusivity, we always just look at representation on whether they are
represented in parliament or whether you can participate in elections
or whether you can be elected upon.

But the issue of the

constitutional offices came up as-THE CHAIRMAN (SEN. MARCOS). As it has come up in every
single hearing that we have conducted.
MR. BACANI.

Yes.

Because, you know, the issue of whether

these constitutional offices can actually be used to advance political


interest rather than really for the interest of everybody.
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Now, I would like to point out that this, in the end, is not an
issue of--is not a legal or constitutional issue but issue of trust also of
people, groups trusting each other that they are able to look at the
BBL and looking at institutions from a structural point of view.
Therefore, there has been opposition raised against the Comelec
because of control of the electoral system, the CSC or the COA-whether it can really be nonpartisan, if theres a regional COA or
Comelec. So again, I said this is an issue of trust but, as you know,
trust is something that is built through processes also of inclusive
participation in the crafting of policies.
The second, Your Honor, is the role of LGUs and its relations with
the regional government. So that came out very, very strongly also in
all these fora.

There are concerns about the use of the word good

governance as an exception. So there is this provision that says that


the powers and privileges already enjoyed by the LGUs cannot be
diminished except in the interest of good governance and then regional
parliament can legislate on good governance. So again, there is fear
that has been raised about whether good governance would only be for
LGUs when it is supposed to be good governance at all levels of
government.

So the way it was phrased, again, raised concern that

they are being targeted, the LGUs are being targeted.


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THE CHAIRMAN (SEN. MARCOS). Could you speak further on


that? Because that is a point that has been intimated to me in private
conversations and perhaps I think it is time to ventilate that particular
concern.

You have identified the fear that the exception--that the

LGUs devolved powers, their functions will not be affected except in


the interest of good governance. In your discussions, how has it come
out that there is a concern that this will be used to target the LGUs
somehow?
MR. BACANI.

Yes.

Because the concern is that--actually,

during the transition, the concern is more during the transition when
the MILF will be at the helm of the transition. And if the MILF will act
as the parliament of the Bangsamoro within the transition, so now it
also depends on the powers of the BTA. So there is fear that there will
be--you know, policies that will be formulated in the interest of good
governance. I dont know what you call it. If you call it reforms, it
will affect what they call it, power relations, power holders. So the
concern is there. In fact, some are saying about the appointment of
OICs. For instance, LGUs will be abolished. Or not LGUs, you know,
but the terms of office/imee

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MR. BACANI.

the terms of office, for instance, of local

government units might be interrupted.

Okay.

And some OICs or

OICs will be appointed.


Now, we are not making any judgment there.

We are just

reporting to you, Your Honor, what have been coming out because its
very important to note also that in all these forum that we have
conducted, people are very, very supportive, whether they are political
leaders, theyre MNLF, they are supportive of the peace process.
Okay.

At least, the broader peace process.

They are supportive.

They want peace. Okay. This is not a question, but the question is
how you attain peace.

The way to peace.

And therefore, these

concerns have to be raised, and these concerns have to be addressed


by maybe defining, clarifying the language in the BBL. But what I can
tell you is this is a real concern on the ground.
THE CHAIRMAN (SEN. MARCOS).

So the general feeling,

therefore, is that the guarantees that are put in the Local Government
Code are not sufficient?
MR. BACANI. Yes. Because the parliament
THE CHAIRMAN (SEN. MARCOS). Because there is a fear that
they will be superseded?
MR. BACANI. Yes.

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THE CHAIRMAN (SEN. MARCOS).

But then it is a national

law. Whatever is passed by the Bangsamoro Parliament will be a local


law.

It cannot contradict what is Republic Act 7160, the Local

Government Code. But, again


MR. BACANI. Thats a debatable question again.
THE CHAIRMAN (SEN. MARCOS). Ah
MR. BACANI. Thats a debatable question.
THE CHAIRMAN (SEN. MARCOS). What are the arguments?
You know, we are still the Committee on Local Government,
thats why this is something of a very distinct interest to the
Committee.
MR. BACANI. Yeah. The question of what prevails in case of
conflict between regional and national law has so many interpretations
as you know. The Peace Council has come up with a statement that
says that the hierarchy of laws for conflict of laws should prevail which
means that in the event of conflict between national and regional law,
the national law shall prevail.
THE CHAIRMAN (SEN. MARCOS). Yes.
MR. BACANI.

Okay.

But those advocates of autonomy,

including IAG, if I may say, okay, we say that, You know, we are
advocates of regional autonomy and we say that once powers are

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devolved, Congress is limiting itself already in terms of legislating on


those particular issues. So thats why this is transfer or delegation of
powers, not just delegation of administration. So theres a difference.
But these are legal issues, Your Honor.
THE CHAIRMAN (SEN. MARCOS). So you think it goes beyond
the principle of subsidiarity?

Because the principle of subsidiarity

allows functions and powers to the local government for purposes of


actions that cannot be taken as effectively by the national government
as by the local government that is why we devolve, di ba? Kaya tayo
nagde-devolve.
MR. BACANI. Yes, but the principle of subsidiarity, Mr. Senator,
I think is more focused on efficiency rather than public policy.

It is

operational.
THE CHAIRMAN (SEN. MARCOS). Yes.
MR. BACANI. Which means that those at the level where
THE CHAIRMAN (SEN. MARCOS).

So youre saying not

powers.
MR. BACANI. Not powers.
THE CHAIRMAN (SEN. MARCOS). Administration.
MR. BACANI. Yeah. This is totally different, the issue of

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THE CHAIRMAN (SEN. MARCOS).

No, I understand, but I

want to point out the differenceits a subtle differencethat I want to


point out that difference that you are trying to illustrate.
MR. BACANI. Thank you, Your Honor.
Can I proceed?
THE CHAIRMAN (SEN. MARCOS). Please do.
MR. BACANI. Yeah. So thats the issue of the role of LGUs and
its relations with regional government.
Bangsamoro or ARMM will not succeed unless we evolve a
cohesive regional government composed of the regional government
and its constituent LGUs.

So they should go forward with unity of

purpose and action. So thats why unless this law really clarifies what
that relationship between the LGUs and the regional government will
be under this Bangsamoro setup, then therell be a lot of speculation
and you will end up with a dysfunctional relations between LGUs and
the Bangsamoro government just as the relationship now between
ARMM and its constituent LGUs are actually dysfunctional.
So you know very well that LGUs now, if given the chance, okay,
will leave the ARMM precisely because they look at the ARMM as just
another layer in this bureaucracy.
THE CHAIRMAN (SEN. MARCOS). Another ineffective layer

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MR. BACANI.

As a competitor for public funds rather than a

source of powers and source of resources.


Let me just say that under the current ARMM, Mr. Senator, there
is no real devolution of powers from the ARMM to the LGUs.
Yes, there is none. The LGUs under the ARMM are not obliged,
under

the

Regional

Local

Government

Code,

to

have

primary

responsibility for education, for social services, and for environment


because that has not been evolved by the regional law. So thats why
you have a very dysfunctional relation and you dont really can point to
the levels of accountability.
THE CHAIRMAN (SEN. MARCOS).

Would you say that its

even contradictory to the devolved functions or the functions that are


given to other LGUs under the Local Government Code?
MR. BACANI.
Government Code.

Yes.

Yes, according to the expert on Local

But the thing here is that we would understand

that the CAB relates to the relationship. The CAB, and of course, thats
why the BBL implements the CAB, it relates.

Its a basic law that

relates to the relationship between national and the regional. But you
cannot talk about the Bangsamoro government without the LGUs,
because the LGUs are the primary implementers and frontline in the
delivery of basic services.

So thats why I think there is a need to

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clarify this relationship because now this relationship also is, you know,
as worded now based on our consultations again, now Im not making
any judgment but based on our consultations, are really generating a
lot of mistrust and distrust, some based on lack of information, but
some are valid arguments. And, therefore, I think theres a need to
sort that out.
THE CHAIRMAN (SEN. MARCOS). Yes. Well, that is certainly
clear because the declaration that the ARMM was a failed experiment
which even provide some of the foundation and the basis for this entire
process.

Having said that, we seem to be doing exactly the same

things that we are doing with ARMM, that lack of definition of the
sharing of powers, shall we say, between the regional government and
the local government.

The failure in clarity, at least, in the ARMM

organic law, we seem to have adopted into the draft BBL.


So having accepted that premise, are there any observations as
to how it should be done?

How do we define the relationship

betweenwe are going through the same process tryingwe hear a


lot of the word asymmetric between the national government and the
Bangsamoro

government.

It

is

not

very

helpful

because

all

relationships between local governments and national government are,


in fact, asymmetric so we still have to define it.

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Now we are moving to the next level which is the definition of


the relationship between the Bangsamoro government and the local
governments. Would there be a guide for us that we could study? Are
there models out there? Are there examples? Were there suggestions
made during your consultations that we might use when we write the
final version?
MR. BACANI. One of the things maybe that the Committee can
look at is to put up some broad principles.
THE CHAIRMAN (SEN. MARCOS). Okay.
MR. BACANI. Okay. So one is the mandatory devolution, and
maybe just broad things of what hasBecause I would understand in
the BBL to allow the parliament/cbg

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MR. BACANI..

to allow the parliament to legislate it. I think

thats the logical thing to do. But the problem now is that there are
problems because of feeling of inclusivity. So that means they really
dont trust parliament to do it. Its the same as issues also of the IPs,
et cetera.

So thats why now without really going into the details,

maybe some broad principles can be put up there.


Professor Tayao who is an expert on this, Your Honor, can I give
him
THE CHAIRMAN (SEN. MARCOS).

Please do.

We always

listen to the professor


MR. TAYAO. Thank you. Thank you, Mr. Senator.
Actually, the issue of symmetrical and asymmetrical relationship,
with due respect, Your Honor, there are concrete examples of
asymmetric relationships particularly with what recent scholarships
suggest as state-nations, which means that examples would be
India, Spain, which is very much a new model that has always been
used by many countries that have been shifting from unitary to
federal. As you know, of course, the story of federalism starts with a
confederation of what used to be independent or separate states but
has decided to, instead of separate, adequately divide power so as to
remain intact. So, iyon po, Senator. But as to your question whether

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we have a reference or model, or what have you, well, the project is


trying to come up with a very comprehensive study for this purpose.
Well, hopefully, it will be in time before you vote on the bill. But Im
not sure at thisIm the one doing it, so Im not sure if I would be able
to finish
THE CHAIRMAN (SEN. MARCOS). Is it an empirical study or is
it a study on policy in terms of the experiences of others? I just want
to see what we can hope to get from you.
MR. TAYAO. Its a comparative study, Mr. Senator.
THE CHAIRMAN (SEN. MARCOS). Okay. Very well, well look
forward to that.
MR. BACANI. And I think it includes also the gaps in the Local
Government Code. Because there is an opportunity I think toif they
evolve in their own Local Government Code, then they should be able
to address also the gaps.

Because you learned already from the

lessons of the national Local Government Code.


THE CHAIRMAN (SEN. MARCOS). Sure.
MR. BACANI. Just very briefly, now, the number three is the
Bangsamoro waters, and I think the fear of losing the Sulu Sea. And
what is important also is the role of LGUs in relation to the
Bangsamoro waters. So thats raising a lot of questions.

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Number four, of course, is the police and the military law


enforcement. As you know, the powers of the chief minister over the
police are the same powers of local government officials, with respect
to the police.
THE CHAIRMAN (SEN. MARCOS). I disagree. I keep hearing
that.
MR. BACANI. Yes, but thats what they were hearing also.
THE CHAIRMAN (SEN. MARCOS). It is simply not the case. I
was a governor. The governor never exercises operational control of
its police. We have very close relationships with our police. We work
in very close coordination.

We assist each other.

But the chain of

command does not include the governor at any point.

So, I do not

understand why there is the constant referral to the governors powers


over the police when we are trying to define the chief ministers
powers over the police. They simply are not parallel. Weagain, Im
talking we because I was a former governor.

We cannot issue an

order to any policeman that can contravene policy or a direct order


from the chief, PNP.

And so, I dont know now how this will apply

when it comes to the Bangsamoro police.

That is why it is a bone of

MR. BACANI. That seems to be the dominant argument, right?


THE CHAIRMAN (SEN. MARCOS). No, its not an argument.

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MR. BACANI. Yes.


THE CHAIRMAN (SEN. MARCOS). It is how the relationship is
between local governments and the Philippine National Police.

The

governors, city mayors, municipal mayors, down to the barangay


captains of course have a very, very close relationshipand have to,
otherwise, they will be totally inefficient. They must help each other.
And in doing so, develop a working relationship that has to be efficient,
streamlined, and quite robust. But in terms of actual control, pagka
iyong pulis may ginawang masama, anong gagawin ng isang governor,
isang mayor? Isusumbong sa PNP. We cannot sanction a policeman.
We can report the wrongdoing and the internal mechanisms within the
PNP will be the one to sanction, to suspend, to file a case, whatever,
against that police. So, again, it is not a theory. It is, in fact, what is
the relationship of an ordinary local governmentI now say, ordinary
because it is not the Bangsamoro regional government, our local
government with its police.

So thats why when the present

relationship between local government executives and the police is


used as a template for the Bangsamoro police, it simply does not help
because that is not, in fact, the template in the Local Government
Code, and in the PNP law.

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MR. BACANI. In any case, the complication there is the role of


the LGUs also in the overall scheme of things, in law enforcement.
THE CHAIRMAN (SEN. MARCOS).

I guessYeah, they are

close into each other. Tama.


MR. BACANI. Yes, correct. And the fifth is the issue of wali as
not having any historicalthey say well, as far as Sulu is concerned.
And, of course, weve heard so much about the Sabah issue.
THE CHAIRMAN (SEN. MARCOS). Why is wali, as far as
Sulu is concerned--you say does not occupy the
MS. S. RASUL. Your Honor.
THE CHAIRMAN (SEN. MARCOS). Yes, Atty. Rasul.
MS. S. RASUL. Let me explain. As our culture and history, we
only use the wali as a messenger of the sultan. Usually, in the latter
part of our, probably, present generation, the wali is used like an
intermediary for marriage between the two parties. But, essentially, if
you look at the history of the sultanate, the wali just acts as a
messenger of the sultan.

It doesnt have any authority at all.

So

including the wali, we have questioned this in several fora already,


either brought by PCID and other members of Muslims communities,
Tausug, and otherwise, they pointed out that wali is not integral to our
own customs and traditions, and we wonder why this has been

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included in the draft. Perhaps maybe instead of the wali, the sultan
would probably be the better individual to place and put on a rotating
basis, so you have the three sultanates represented. This will actually
reflect the culture and traditions of the five ARMM provinces and the
three sultanates of Sulu, Maguindanao, and Lanao.
THE CHAIRMAN (SEN. MARCOS).

So, for the record, as

you say, in your view, it is the wali. Who becomes a wali ? How do
you become one? Are you chosen? Do you study to become a wali?
Are you picked by the sultan?
MS. S. RASUL.

I think during our forefathersour great-

grandfathers era, a council of elders, they choose amongthere are


several established houses in Sulu, for instance, each family is
represented in the council of elders commonly called as the ruma
bichara and they choose the wali. So its either by election or
appropriation.
THE CHAIRMAN (SEN. MARCOS).

By the council of elders.

Very well, thank you.


So, please
MR. BACANI. That ends our intervention, Mr. Senator.
THE CHAIRMAN (SEN. MARCOS).

Beyond the transcript as

we have it now, would you have a document or a paper that will

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explain all of the concepts and findings that you have had over your
consultation?
MR. BACANI.

We will submit that to the secretariat, Mr.

Senator.
THE CHAIRMAN (SEN. MARCOS). Yes, please.
MR. BACANI. A brief, brief one.
THE CHAIRMAN (SEN. MARCOS). No, I was just going to say,
feel free to go into as much detail as you can.
MR. BACANI. Okay.
THE CHAIRMAN (SEN. MARCOS). Because, as you know, you
are dealing with many non-Muslims/mrjc

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THE CHAIRMAN (SEN. MARCOS).

many non-Muslims and

many of the issues are related to thatthe wali is a perfect example.


So anyway, thank you very much for your presentation.
Yes, Professor Tayao, you would like to add something.
MR. TAYAO.

Just very briefly, Mr. Senator. This is a personal

point on the provision on the intergovernmental relations related to


how local governments and the regional government and the central
government will work.
Looking

at

this

particular

part

of

the

BBL,

Intergovernmental Relations, I find it rather vague.

Article

VI,

In other words,

the sense is that it leaves so much room for interpretation.

So we

might end up, you know, being dependent again on the implementing
rules and regulations and thatah, theres no IRRor the decisions
that will be between the central and the regional government.
does not define what is the composition of the IGR.

One

It doesnt say

whether theres a particular office for it, the composition for it and it is
not clear how it relates to the Bangsamoro government and the
parliament.

Meaning, if the decisions of the IGR will have to be

followed by the Bangsamoro government or the parliament for that


matter, or the parliament can overturn it
THE CHAIRMAN (SEN. MARCOS). If it is binding, you mean?
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MR. TAYAO. Thats right.

And there are particular provisions

which to me are very important like customs tariff and even the power
generation distribution. That will have to be subject to IGR.
So again, this might affect the relations between the region and
the central government.
Thats it.
THE CHAIRMAN (SEN. MARCOS).

To explore that and go to a

more central point, IGR is intergovernmentalthis, to me, flounced(?)


because this is a discussion between two sovereign governments.
MR. TAYAO.

Exactly. Thats right.

THE CHAIRMAN (SEN. MARCOS).

To have such a body, to

begin with, would seem to put the Bangsamoro government on equal


footing as the national government because we are negotiating
between the two bodies on policy.
MR. TAYAO.

I agree, Mr. Senator.

THE CHAIRMAN (SEN. MARCOS).

So that immediately, for

me, raisesmaybe we can call it something else. Maybe its just the
name thats a little alarming.
MR. TAYAO.

Thats right.

THE CHAIRMAN (SEN. MARCOS).

But we have to be very

clear that this is a local government, a regional government dealing


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with the national government.

This came out because there were

many aspects of the BBL which we could see would run counter to
national policy.

And when we asked how will this be resolved, the

answer was they will negotiate any differences. I do not remember, as


a

provincial

government.

governor,

negotiating

anything

with

the

national

The national government says, This is the Local

Government Code, these are the different IRRs, this is what you
follow. And I cannot see why a regional government should be any
different.
MR. TAYAO.

Thats right.

THE CHAIRMAN (SEN. MARCOS).

So its very function is

problematic, in my view.
MR. TAYAO.

Thats true, Senator.

Actually, I mentioned it because I thought it will definitely affect


operation of the Bangsamoro government so while theres a pending
issue, they will have to sit down and talk about it. And so thats why I
thought I might point it out.
THE CHAIRMAN (SEN. MARCOS).

Okay.

MR. BACANI. Just very briefly, Senator.


THE CHAIRMAN (SEN. MARCOS).

Yes.
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MR. BACANI. I would like to just look at the big picture with
respect to intergovernmental relations board.
We must understand that its important to provide those wanting
to be mainstreamed or those rebel groups joining government
THE CHAIRMAN (SEN. MARCOS).
MR. BACANI.

Go ahead. Im sorry.

I think we should provide a welcoming

environment for those joining, you know, the mainstream of joining


government to assure them that they can continue advocating for what
they believe in. Okay. Self-determination is one thing, right? the
essence of this whole thing.

But now, within the democratic and

parliamentary process. Okay.


So I think that is the spirit behind this intergovernmental
relations mechanism. But I totally agree with you, you need to refine
it because under the provisions of 9054, and the bill is here, I think the
parallel

body

there

implementation issues.

is

the

oversight

committee

looking

at

But this oversight committee which was

chaired by the executive secretary was actually, you know, it wasnt


functioningyou know, executive secretary, if he doesnt
THE CHAIRMAN (SEN. MARCOS).

They have convened once.

MR. BACANI. Yeah, convened once.


THE CHAIRMAN (SEN. MARCOS).

In 2013.
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MR. BACANI. So the point Im making is that all these issues


about non-implementation, they bring that out in the open and that
can be already again, you know, a seed for dissent and for rebellion.
So the point Im making here is we should look at this from a
broader perspective. But I totally agree that theres a need to refine
this.

Okay.

But what Im saying, the BBL should not only be a

substantive law but also a process law which means that you can
provide

mechanisms

there

where

we

can

continue

all

these

discussions, even charter change maybe but do it in the parliamentary,


peaceful, democratic route.
Thats why peace process, BBL is not the end of it, you know, but
you lay the basis for this.

So that to allow those who are already

willing to join, willing to advocate their revolutionary ideals will win


the,

sabihin

nating,

parliamentary,

democratic,

elbowroom, enough opportunity to do it.

that

enough

If you take these out

altogether, then we will all have because there will always be


implementation issues here or we will neverno one will be contented
in the implementation. But they will not have any avenue anymore to
bring this out.

The problem with our system is we dont have a

constitutional court. This would have been the right forumyou bring
these issues and immediately, these can be decided, addressed.
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So I plead with the Committee to move closely. We can refine it


but lets not delete that mechanism for continuing dialogue between
the Bangsamoro government or the ARMM government and the
national government, not at the same level but in a way that the
national government understands the roots of this, understands the
culture and understands the defects.
Thank you very much, Your Honor.
THE CHAIRMAN (SEN. MARCOS).

That point is very well-

taken. As a matter of fact, one of the weaknesses as we have seen of


the draft Bangsamoro Basic Law, as submitted to Congress, has been
the lack of clarity and detail in many parts of it. And I also agree that
the process of discussion, of compromise, of negotiation should be
given a proper forum.

Of course, very well defined with these

misgivings that we have all expressed so that they can arrive at a good
compromise which has sometimes been defined as where every party
is equally unhappy.
MR. BACANI. Thank you, Your Honor.
THE CHAIRMAN (SEN. MARCOS).

So thank you for that.

Last on our list before I open the floor to those who would like to
speak up on the issue, representing the mayors of the Province of
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Sulu, may we call onto give their position, the mayor of Jolo, Mayor
Hussin Amin.
Mayor, please, you have the floor.
[Applause]
MR. AMIN. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Bismillah Al-rahman al-rahim
First, Mr. Chairman, you have stated a while ago that there will
be a next scheduled committee meeting in Manila. May I respectfully
request, Your Honor, that the governors of the five provinces within
the area of autonomy or other governors outside of autonomous
region, as you wish to invite. The vice governor and as well as the city
mayors and municipal mayors of the capital town and other mayors
you may wish to invite to have a committee meeting in Manilabrhg

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MR. AMIN. committee meeting in Manila so that you will know


the problems of the local government as far as the draft BBL is
concerned.
THE CHAIRMAN (SEN. MARCOS). Thank you, Mayor.
That suggestion is well-taken. You are not the first to make that
suggestion that is why I will look to see--maybe we can schedule a
hearing specifically for the local government executives.
MR. AMIN. Thank you, Your Honor.
THE CHAIRMAN (SEN. MARCOS). But perhaps you could now
bring to the Committee the concerns or the opinions specific to the
province of Sulu as expressed by the mayors through you, Mayor
Amin, about the draft Bangsamoro Basic Law.
Mayor Amin, you have the floor.
MR. AMIN. Mr. Chairman, may I also respectfully submit for the
record of the Committee the manifesto of support and position paper
on the Bangsamoro Basic Law signed by Honorable Abdusakur A. Tan
II, provincial governor of Sulu; Honorable Abdusakur M. Tan, vice
governor of Sulu; and the 18 municipal mayors out of 19 signed the
manifesto.
For the record also, Resolution No. 35-2013, Office of the
Sangguniang Bayan, resolution supporting the position paper adopted
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by the Province of Sulu during a meeting at the Garden Orchid Hotel,


Zamboanga City, on September 16, 2014.

We have also resolution

from the Philippine Councilors League, resolution for concurrence and


endorsement of the spirit and leaders of the manifesto of support and
position paper of the Bangsamoro Basic Law. Another resolution of the
Philippine Barangay League, Sulu Chapter, may I respectfully submit,
Your Honor, as part of the record of the Committee. May I also submit
the comments and position paper on House Bill No. 4994 which was
submitted to you by the honorable vice governor this morning and to
be part of the Committee record--I mean, for the record of the
Committee. I think you have the copy, Mr. Chairman.
THE CHAIRMAN (SEN. MARCOS). That is right, Mayor. The
vice governor and the governor in our informal discussions earlier was
able to give me the comments and the position paper of the province
on House Bill No. 4994.
MR. AMIN. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
You know, Mr. Chairman, almost all have been discussed by the
previous speaker which I am supposed to tell you.

But, anyway, I

would just like to point some issues regarding the draft BBL.

You

know, if you will go over, Mr. Chairman--

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By the way, I am Hussin U. Amin, the mayor of Jolo, the capital


town of Sulu.
THE CHAIRMAN (SEN. MARCOS). And a former congressman.
MR. AMIN. And a former congressman.
THE CHAIRMAN (SEN. MARCOS). And a judge.
MR.

AMIN.

Practically,

serve

the

three

branches

of

government.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
You know, in the

explanatory note, Mr. Chairman,

third

paragraph, Congress must recognize its fundamental rule in the


process of bringing just and lasting peace to Mindanao by enacting the
proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law.

Now, as what the MNLF, the

Sultanate of Sulu representative have said, they were not consulted.


Other sectors were not consulted. So how can there be lasting peace?
That is the first question.

Either the local government units were

consulted in the negotiation. I have not seen a law or a drafted bill, a


one-sided drafted bill. The power has been given to a single group. I
have not seen that even--I study that.

Until now wala pa akong

nakikita, including Republic Act 9054 or the mother law, 6734, wala.
It never said that the MNLF has been given power in that Republic Act
9054 and Republic Act 6734. It is only in this draft BBL, a one-sided
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bill. Sad to say, the power has been given to the MILF. You try to look
the BTA, the Bangsamoro Transition Authority. The membership of 50,
including the chairman, shall be recommended to the President for
appointment.

It appears to be all MILF, no from the other sectors:

youth, sectoral and from the local.

And they are being tasked to

organize and to have the structures of government within 60 days.


Kaya kaya iyon, 60 days?

Unless they have already prepared the

structures of government, 60 days is not enough.

Now, kaya nga

magulo, Mr. Chairman, the local government is not being involved in


the negotiation. They have not presented something that will involve
the interest of the local government.
Another point that I would like--iyong unconstitutional provision,
iyong encroachment of the power of an independent office like--One of
the branches of government is the Supreme Court, the appointment of
the Judicial and Bar Council, the recommendation of the Sharia Court,
and the power of the Sharia Court belongs to the Bangsamoro
parliament.

It appears to be an encroachment of the power of the

Supreme Court, the COA, the Comelec.

Pag nakita mo sa Comelec,

the regional election for the Bangsamoro government under the basic
law shall be held on the first Monday of May 2016. It shall be governed

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by the Bangsamoro electoral court[inaudible/off-mike]national law-suppletory.


Another point that I would like to raise is the Bangsamoro
parliament. Ten percent is to be chosen from the so-called sectoral
representative. The youth sector as the representative of the youth is
not included. What is being included are those from the mainland: the
Samal, the Yakan and the Samal fromTawi-Tawi.

They are not

included in the sectoral representative--10 percent/imee

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MR. AMIN. 10 percent. Forty percent by district. If you will


go by district in Sulu, the Tongkil is not included in the district. I do
not know kung saan sila boboto. Try to find out iyong sa by district.
And also Jolo, being the capital town, according to the draft bill,
at least 100 population. Isinama iyong another two municipalities, ang
Jolo has already, as of 2008, we have already 118,000 population with
the voting population of 37 something. Puwede na isang district. Why
do you have to include a small municipality sa Jolo?

Jolo should be

separated fromThere should be one district because we are already


qualified to have one district being the capital town.
Second, by election of 50 percent by regional parties.
ito, Mr. Chairman.

Magulo

Our recommendation, why not make it a

representative by congressional district instead of regional because the


regional voters will select 50 percent of the Bangsamoro parliament.
We cannot even finish that in one month. And we have to consider the
election is first Monday of May, while the national election is second
Monday of May which is one week. Only one week, the gap. Counting
of votes, I think it will last for one month because it is a regional
election.

Our recommendation, why not make it by congressional

district together with the one I have said, iyong 40 percent. Gawin na
lang 90 percent, 10 percent by sectoral para hindi magulo.

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Another point that has been discussed by Attorney Bacani, iyong


Section 7, Article VI. We have doubt sa last paragraph. Sabi dito sa
Section 7, second sentence, The authority to regulate on its own
responsibility the affairs of the local government unit is guaranteed
you try to look, is guaranteed within the limit of the basic law. The
next sentence maganda, within the limit of basic law, maganda ito,
the privileges already enjoyed, we enjoyed like the local government,
the National Local Government Code, by the local government under
the existing law, shall not be diminished. Very good. But because of
the word, unless otherwise altered, altered, meaning remove what
we

have

enjoyedmodify

and

reform

for

good

governance.

Everything, the move of the parliament is for good governance. Alisin


iyong mayor, that is for good governance. You can say that easilyin
accordance with the law to be enacted by the Bangsamoro parliament.
Who are the members of the Bangsamoro parliament?

MILF.

Sad to say. Why? Because of the regional election, 50 percent will be


elected to be accredited by their own Comelec.

Paano naman ang

gustong sumali? Plus sectoral, isa lang ang makuha nila sa sectoral.
Fifty one plus is majority. They can do what they want.
So the law should be fair.

It should not mention one class

organization. It should be open to all just like Republic Act 9054. It

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never said, MNLF. If you will go back, iyong autonomous region, the
first elected governor is not an MNLF. Even Mujiv Hataman is not an
MNLF. Kasi its open to all. Why not make it open to all? Remove the
word, BTA shall be led by MILF. Parang kino-consider ko that that is
a class legislation.
Now another question that I would like to pose to the Honorable
Chairman, there is a covenant, agreement between the constituent and
the elected officials of the autonomous region.

Covenant.

That is a

constitutional right, the highest right because of the agreement that


you have to serve three years. Three years. But you have to reduce.
By approving the BBL, what will happen now to the elected officials of
the autonomous region, the regional governor, the regional vice
governor, and the regional assembly man? We have a covenant. You
have to serve that. If you will remove their power through legislation,
that is a human right violation, the highest violation because you are
violating the right of the constituent to let him serve for three years.
Iyan ang ano.
Second, sabi ng Presidente, I appointed Regional Governor
Mujiv Hataman.

And because of his appointment, we were able to

reform the autonomous region. Gumanda na. And everybody elected


Regional Governor Hataman, gumaganda ang autonomous region.

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Why do you have to change the autonomous region kung maganda na?
Hindi ba? That is a public pronouncement of the President. What we
need is amendment. Parang sinabi mo kanina masaya lahat. Sabi ni
Manong Enrile, Gusto ko happy kayo lahat. Happy ang MNLF, happy
ang other sectors.
Do you know, Mr. Chairman, when we deliberated Republic Act
9054, walang gulo. Pasok lahat ang gusto. But the problem now we
are crafting the BBL, magulo. What more kung na-approve ito? Mas
lalong magulo. Ngayon nga magulo, di ba?
Another point that I would like to raise, Mr. ChairmanIm really
confused. The Constitution says that autonomous region. There shall
be two autonomous regions. It has been raised by Attorney Bacani, I
think, and then you are now drafting a law, a parliamentary form of
government/cbg

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MR. AMIN.

a parliamentary form of government.

Ang

pagkakaalam ko ang parliamentary form of government is different


from autonomous region, hindi ba? Iyon ang pagkakaintindi ko. It is
another form of government.

Autonomous is part of democracy rin

yan, autonomous, but it is in the Constitution, autonomous region.

Di

maganda sana, gagawin na lang autonomous parliamentary form of


government para hindi maalis doon.
Constitution.

That is my point.

We are not violating the

Although there are a lot of

argumentssinasabi ng mga gumagawa, but to me, parliamentary


form of government is different from autonomous region.
know paano natin iyon ma-li-link.

I do not

This might be a constitutional

problem. This is one point that might be raised in the Supreme Court.
Ayaw namin na ma-delay pa. Kasi if it will be raised to the Supreme
Court, baka matapos lang ang election hindi na ito magkaroon ng BBL.
I am not against the MI, but ang akin lang naman sinasabi ko lang this
is a one-sided bill, basic law. Dapat sana sinama ang MNLF, sinama
ang local government unit, sinama lahat in the negotiations so that
they can tell the negotiating panel about their interests para walang
gulo. Happy lahat.
Anyway, there will be another scheduled hearing. Karamihan it
was already discussed, and to abbreviate the proceedings, I would like

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to thank you, Mr. Chairman, for coming here explaining to us. But I
would like to tell you frankly dito sa nakikinig na ito only 20 percent,
even 10 percent hindi nila alam ang BBL. I dont know. You can ask
them what is inside the draft BBL. Hindi nila iyon alam.
Thank you very much.
Assalamulalaikum wa rahmatu Allah wa barakatuh.
THE CHAIRMAN (SEN. MARCOS).

Thank you very much,

Mayor Amin for a very down-to-earth and grassroots view of the BBL.
I think it will only be fair before we open the floor to ask Atty.
Julkipli who represents OPPAP here, would you like to respond to some
of the questions and the issues raised that we have heard. Maybe not
only the mayors but other points that were made during the hearing.
MR. JULKIPLI. Mr. Chair, thank you very much.
Actually, for some of the response and some of the clarifications
I would also ask the opportunity to transfer the mic to Undersecretary
Lorena also to get the chance to also speak and clarify on some of the
certain points.

But certainly, Mr. Chairman, we will take this

opportunity to clarify some of the more common points that have been
raised. For example, those that have been repeatedly pointed out in at
least two or three of the speakers that we have heard this afternoon.
Among them is, of course, the issue on the waters. There is for us a

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special need to clarify.

In this Bangsamoro Basic Law we are not

moving to rename the Sulu Sea to become Bangsamoro waters. The


name of the appellation of the sea remains to be the Sulu Sea. The
term Bangsamoro waters refers to the extent of jurisdiction of the
region, but it does not change the name of the body of water that is
now known, and will be known continuously as the Sulu Sea, Mr. Chair.
So I just like to take that point and clarify that.
The other thing is aboutwell, this one was just raised recently
but I think this is the perfect time to also address this on the matter of
districting as pointed out by Mayor Amin earlier.

We just like to point

out, Mr. Chair, that although the current draft right now carries with it
an appendix that proposes an initial districting or a partial or
preliminary districting, this is an outstanding proposal.

In fact, we

recognize and our attention has already been called repeatedly to the
fact that there are lapses in this current proposal which is why we have
already declared as early as the initial hearings that this appendix is
not the final one. This is still subject to further change, as in fact, Mr.
Chair, the final districting will have to be determined after the
plebiscite. Because certainly it will be the plebiscite that will determine
what areas will finally be included in the region and, therefore, the
apportioning of the parliamentary districts will have to be done after.

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So the final districting will still have to await the plebiscite. So this is
really just a proposal, a template on how districting might work.
THE CHAIRMAN (SEN. MARCOS). By what you have just said,
you were saying that it is the template. So whatever the results of the
plebiscite, this is the template that will be applied.
MR. JULKIPLI. As a matter of proposal, Mr. Chair. But again it
is still subject to changes.
THE CHAIRMAN (SEN. MARCOS). Yes, okay. Yes. Because
the geographical location and its contiguity those things are going to
be of great importance in the definition of the parliamentary districts.
MR. JULKIPLI. Yes, Mr. Chair. Thank you.
THE CHAIRMAN (SEN. MARCOS). Please carry on, Attorney.
MR. JULKIPLI.

Another recurring point that has been raised

throughout different speakers also hasthat the need to clarify or at


least we feel we need to clarify is on the Wali. That this positionas
it is now established and defined in the proposed Bangsamoro Basic
Law is not in any way supposed to be related to any particular group or
any particular authority. This will be an office that the BBL seeks to
establish that will be part of the government of the region of the
Bangsamoro that will take care of ceremonial and titular functions so
that the chief minister can focus on the purely governance functions.

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So we are not reserving the office of the Wali to any particular


person or any particular group of people.

The qualifications, as

mentioned in the proposal, Mr. Chair, says that the Wali can be any
eminent resident of the Bangsamoro region as nominated by the
council of leaders and appointed by consensus of parliament.
THE CHAIRMAN (SEN. MARCOS). Okay, I think you know this
point has been raised at every place that weve been gone. Some of it
is just trying to get an explanation.
Why was it conceived that there is a need for separate individual
for ceremonial functions?

If we look at political leadership, the

President does not have an assistant for ceremonial functionwell,


maybe the Vice President, you could call him that. But not in fact is
there someone designated for that sole purpose. Why do we feel that
there is a need for that in this particular governmental structure?
MR. JULKIPLI.

Well, because this is customary in the

ministerial or parliamentary system that we are


THE CHAIRMAN (SEN. MARCOS).

Apparently not.

We had

just heard that is not customary in the traditions of the sultanates.


MR. JULKIPLI.

I mean, Mr. Chairman, what I mean to say

was
THE CHAIRMAN (SEN. MARCOS). Yes.

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MR. JULKIPLI.

What I meant to say, Mr. Chairman, was this

was customary in other parliamentary jurisdictions.

That in other

areas of the world where the ministerial or parliamentary system of


government has been adopted it has been the case that executive
functions have been bifurcated between the purely governance
function and the purely titular function. Such that in jurisdictions, for
example, when there are constitutional monarchies, you will have a
prime minister which will take care of the governance function, and a
titular figurehead who will take care of theso thats really where the
inspiration for the office of the Wali was taken, especially also, Mr.
Chair, that there will be peculiarities in a parliamentary system that
will also necessitatefor example, another official who will be in the
position to sayto open parliament, or when there is no chief minister
yet, and things like these.

That symbolic and ceremonial functions

that can be reserved to a particular official.


THE CHAIRMAN (SEN. MARCOS).

But if we look at the

custom in Congress when there is no Speaker or Senate President yet,


the Secretary-General of the Senate or of the House of Representative
chairs that first session wherein a Speaker or a Senate President is
voted on. Why can we not do the same thing? I am also thinking of
the

parliament

of

the

United

Kingdom.

You

mentioned

the

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constitutional monarchy which is what that is. There is no designated


person for ceremonial functions.

There are ceremonial functions but

they are performed by certain officers/mrjc

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THE CHAIRMAN (SEN. MARCOS).

performed by certain

officers who are appointed or voted upon, depending on the office, by


the body. So again I do not see the parallel. I dont know.
You know, we have had this discussion in each hearing.

The

question about the wali and I think in the Senatenot only in the
Senate but also the House hearings, mukhang naging somethingjust
a point maybe a confusion more than anything else. No one is really
objecting to it but hindi namin masyadong maintindihan ano ba talaga
ang pinanggalingan nito, kung anong tungkulin ng wali and why we
need to have that position.
Usec Lorena I think wants to jump in.
MR. LORENA. On the question you raised because from where
this wali came. There is actually an experience in a neighbor country,
Malaysia and the State of Sabah, where there are no kings and sultans
but there is the code, the term negeri.

The negeri opens the

assembly and at the same time, there is a vote of no confidence from


the assembly, there is somebody to receive the resolution to declare
open that the government of the present chief minister has to be
destroyed because of the vote of no confidence of that assembly
because the unfortunate thing, from the experience of this country, is
when there is no custodian. The word wali simply means custodian
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and consent, the custodian that would give consent to the abolition or
to the opening.

That is the source.

I think if you have a parallel

discussion on this, that is perhaps where the model of the wali was
taken.
THE CHAIRMAN (SEN. MARCOS).

Model of?

Im sorry,

the?
MR. LORENA. This is the negeri.
THE CHAIRMAN (SEN. MARCOS).

Ah, I see.

MR. LORENA. In Sabah, we have a negeri. Because of the 13


states in Malaysia, there are 11 states with sultan and they participate
in the Depatuan-Abong(?) forces. But there are two states which have
no sultan for reasons of their own and they have created the position
of governor or niggery to do the ceremonial functions of the sultan to
dissolve the parliament based on the vote of no confidence of the
assembly and at the same time, to open the parliament when a new
chief minister is elected by the assembly.
So I think I just like to add to the clarification already stated.
But the etymological meaning

of the word wali, as already

propounded is the guardian. That is why in marriage, the guardian will


always give, as you said, symbolically, the hand of the woman because
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he is guardian.

So at least that is the real connotation of the word

wali.
THE CHAIRMAN (SEN. MARCOS).

Okay. As I have said, we

have had this discussion more than once before. I think the problem
arises from the religious connotation of the wali. I think thats where
the problem is.

Because immediately, it is inferred that there is a

religious aspect to the office because it can only be a wali, again,


which has a religious connotation.

I think thats where the problem

is. But, again, lets not go overall the previous ground.


So in any case, is there anything else that OPAPP, the other
commissioners who would like to add on the subject?

Because we

have to close at 2:30. And I would like at least to give the chance to
some of those who have registered to speak so that we can be assured
that at least we have been given the chance to most people.
So Commissioner Tammang.
MR. LORENA. On one point.
THE CHAIRMAN (SEN. MARCOS).

Yes, Usec.

MR. LORENA. This is on the issue of why the Sabah issue was
not even in this discussion because Id like to bring to focus that the
Sabah issue was by act of Congress because the filing of the petition
was by the joint resolution of the House and this is more on the
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foreign.

And, therefore, the issue of BBL was to find the model of

autonomy in defining the relationship between the national, regional


and local. And, therefore, issue with respect to foreign relation which
is still a reserve power under the BBL was never attached to it.
Secondly, there was no joint resolution on both houses to allow a
discussion on this matter because the filing of the petition in 1963 by
the government of the Republic of the Philippines, I think even during
the time of your father, was based on a joint resolution of the House
before the establishment of the federation of Malaysia. And, therefore,
to touch on that matter would not be--would be ultra vires in the light
of the context of the two resolutions, not within the powers of the
people

authorized

to

negotiate

and

neither

the

crop

up

the

Bangsamoro Basic Law.


Thank you.
THE CHAIRMAN (SEN. MARCOS).

Thank

you,

Usec.

Thank you for that clarification.


Commissioner Tammang would like to add something.
MR. TAMMANG.

Thank you, Mr. Chair.

The Honorable Chair, Senator Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr., Governor


Toto Tan, Vice Governor Tan, the Honorable Congressman Anton
Lagdameo of Davao del Norte.
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Mr. Chair, we would like to make some comments considering


that we were the Bangsamoro Transition Commission who drafted this
BBL.
Our mandate was from Executive Order 120 given by the
President organizing the transition commission. And in that executive
order, it was specified therein that in the crafting of that proposed
basic law, we have to be guided by the provisions of the FAB, the
Framework Agreement, and that of the comprehensive agreement.
Mr. Chair, when we drafted the Bangsamoro Basic Law, we are of
the belief that this will now be the answer to the collected aspirations
of the Bangsamoro people in the Bangsamoro homeland. And if this
BBL successfully passed the scrutiny of the House of Representatives
and that of the Senate and become a law, it has some features that
differs from that of the ARMM.
symmetric;

Its relationship with the national is

in form, it is ministerial;

it has sharia as legal system;

and it has block grant.


Mr. Chair, I will not delve on this because it is already in the
draft basic law.

But as we have said, much to our desire to include

some foreign issues which are not included in the FAB and the CAB, we
cannot do it because we have to observe that we have to confine
ourselves to these two documents. Likewise, Mr. Chair, in the case of
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Sabah issue, we believe that Sabah issue, it involves foreign diplomatic


policy and it is highly political issues which can only addressed by
national leadership.
address this one.

The Bangsamoro Transition Commission cannot


In fact, we have no mandate to make some

proposals on this issue, Mr. Chair. We still believe that we cannot do it


much to our desire to do it because we came from the province of Sulu
and we sympathize the glimpse of the Sultanate of Sulu but despite of
that, we are really in futile to do that.
THE CHAIRMAN (SEN. MARCOS).

But, Commissioner, I

dont know why you responded in that way because there is no-quite the opposite is what is being said, that the claim of the
Republic of the Philippines through the Sultanate of Sulu on North
Borneo should not be weakened in any way. And, therefore, thats
why the issue of the definition of Bangsamoro waters becomes an
issue because of the understanding or mistaken or otherwise that
that will be now put under Bangsamoro waters.

The name

Bangsamoro waters, they will no longer be Sulu Sea. Atty. Julkipli


just explained that thats not the case.

But the point is that the

worry is not that there is a desire for Bangsamoro to negotiate the


claim of the Republic over North Borneo but quite the contrary that
the claim of the Republic on North Borneo on Sabah not be
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jeopardized by anything that is done in the organization or in the


conduct of the Bangsamoro government.
So that is whyyes, you have no power

because it is the

Republic whose role it is to pursue and to prosecute that claim.


MR. TAMMANG.

This is, Your Honor, in response to the

previous statement made by the gentleman on the floor because


according to him, the BBL did not include this.

That is why Im

explaining we were the ones who craft this basic law and we cannot
simply include this because it is not within our province to do that,
Your Honor.
Now, in the case of Section 7, Your Honor, this is only a
policybhg

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MR. TAMMANG. this is only a policy. The detail of which will


have to be addressed by the incoming parliament. We cannot remove
this one. We have to include this one. In fact, this is a copy-paste
provision from the FAB. We have to include this because it is a signed
document. We have to include this one. So this is only a matter of
policy but details of which will have to be addressed by the incoming
parliament should the parliament has been formed sooner.
Now, with respect, Your Honor, to the abolition of the ARMM-THE CHAIRMAN (SEN. MARCOS). You see the concern. The
language says that the existing laws are allowed to be diminished, the
powers that are granted local government units can be diminished,
altered, modified, reformed by a law enacted by the Bangsamoro
parliament. So my reading and the reading of many legal scholars is
that this allows the Bangsamoro parliament to, in fact, amend by act of
parliament alone, the Bangsamoro-MR. TAMMANG. But, Your Honor-THE CHAIRMAN (SEN. MARCOS). Let me finish, please. That
by act of the Bangsamoro parliament alone can amend the Local
Government Code and the Constitution because the powers are
granted by the Constitution and the Local Government Code. So that
is the concern. I cannot read it any other way.
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MR. TAMMANG.

Actually, Your Honor, I believe that is no

longer the original draft of the--That is no longer our draft.


THE CHAIRMAN (SEN. MARCOS).

This is the draft BBL as

filed in the Senate and this is the draft bill that was handed by the
President to the Senate president and henceforth introduced by
Senators Drilon, Sotto, Cayetano, Legarda, Recto, Ejercito, Binay,
Escudero, Aquino, Angara, Cayetano, Honasan and Guingona. So the
language is there and that is the concern, The privileges already
enjoyed by the local government units under existing laws shall not be
diminished unless otherwise altered, modified or reformed for good
governance in accordance with a law to be enacted by the Bangsamoro
parliament.
MR. TAMMANG. That is our version, Your Honor.
THE CHAIRMAN (SEN. MARCOS). That is a--?
MR. TAMMANG.

That is the version of the Bangsamoro

Transition Commission.
THE CHAIRMAN (SEN. MARCOS). This is the version--this is
the draft-MR. TAMMANG. That is our version. The one you read is our
version.

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THE CHAIRMAN (SEN. MARCOS). Kaya nga. Ito iyong may


problema.

The word unless is a problem because that is actually

improper. The Bangsamoro government cannot amend a national law.


But here, the powers are given to the Bangsamoro parliament.
specifically states so.

So that is a problematic issue.

It

The issue of

autonomy and devolution has been embraced as national policy and in


law by RA 7160. And so those principles are well accepted and have
been exercised for the last 21 years. Hence, the concern that now we
are confronted with the possibility that the Bangsamoro parliament
may

amend--let

me

read--alter,

modify

or

reform

for

good

government--is the language that we have here--in accordance with


a law to be enacted by the Bangsamoro parliament.

So what this

language is saying that the LGUs continue to enjoy the powers, the
devolved functions, the autonomy unless the Bangsamoro parliament
says it does not. I dont know how that is even possible to be done
and, secondly, whatever principle might be behind it is misguided, I
believe.
MR. LORENA. Mr. Chairman, it was given to me--I would just
like to clarify because I was part of those--I was the attorney general
of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao when 9054 was crafted
and 7160 was crafted. I believe we have to reconcile the provision of
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Republic Act 9054 and 7160.

Under Republic Act 7160, the Local

Government Code of the Philippines, which was signed before the


passage of Republic Act 9054, both authored by Senator Pimentel, the
provision of 9054 allows the regional autonomous government to come
up with its Local Government Code.
THE CHAIRMAN (SEN. MARCOS). Wait first, before you carry
on. There is no such thing as regional government in the Philippines.
MR. LORENA.

No, autonomous region.

The autonomous

region, the regional assembly was allowed to crop up its own Local
Government Code.
THE CHAIRMAN (SEN. MARCOS). Yes.
MR. LORENA. Yeah.
THE CHAIRMAN (SEN. MARCOS). But you cannot amend by a
local law a national law.
MR. LORENA. No. I am pursuing that because in 7160, there is
a provision which states that the effectivity of Republic Act 7160 with
respect to the local governments in the ARMM is effective only until
such time that the ARMM can crop up its own Local Government Code.
So I think we have to look into these two provisions for clarity
purposes because it seems to be conflicting. Because if the effectivity
of 7160 will no longer continue when the ARMM will crop up its own
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Local Government Code, then the Local Government Code of the ARMM
will become the Local Government Code. That is why in the crafting of
this BBL, if I may suggest, the two provisions should be looked at, I
think to be reconciled.

So that is a suggestion because the

unfortunate thing, when Republic Act 9054, the grant of autonomy,


amending Republic Act 6734 was passed, 7160 was already passed
and devolution to the local governments had already been given.
So I think to put finally to rest the issue of some--in fact, even in
the IRA system and in the powers of the ARMM, there are some
conflicting provisions.

Because while admittedly, 6734 was passed

ahead of 7160 but 9054 was passed after the devolution to the
provinces had been done.
Thank you.
THE CHAIRMAN (SEN. MARCOS). So I think that one of the
simple solutions here is to strike everything after diminished.
Anyway, thats in another proposal. Anyway, as I said, I dont want
to--We will be discussing this at great length, no doubt. But I would
very much like to at least give a chance to those that took the trouble
to register their desire to speak today.

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So I will just go down by the list. First come, first served na lang
ang gawin natin and hopefully, we can go down the list as much of the
speakers as possible.
The first name on the list is Sali Abdulmajid who is a member of
the Sulu Alliance for Peace and Development. Is Mr. Abdulmajid still
here? Yes.
Please, you have the floor.
MR. ABDULMAJID. [Muslim Prayer] Bismillah Hir Rahman Nir
Raheem
Honorable Senator Ferdinand Marcos Jr., our Honorable Governor
Abdusakur Toto Tan and, of course, our elders governor, Abdusakur
Tan Sr.
Mr. Senator/imee

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MR. ABDULMAJID.

Mr. Senator, if you remember right,

during the time when you visited Zamboanga City you were then still a
civilian or I do not know what is your position there, we were the one
who you spoke in Zamboanga City at the Orchid Hotel and I asked you
one time if you are interested in running of the national office, ang sabi
po ninyo ay kung tutulungan ninyo kami, ganoon. So this time po ako
ay natutuwa at nandito kayo dahil more than 29 years ago, ako po ay
isa sa mga product ng inyong father na noong una po ay binigyan ng
pagkakataon ng inyong tatay. Twenty-nine years ago po ay nawala na
iyong tatay ninyo kaya noong kumandidato po kayo ng Senado, ang
boto po namin sa inyo ay utang na loob namin sa tatay ninyo.

So

ngayon po nandito kayo bilang Senador at ang inyong dinala dito ay


tungkol dito sa Senate Bill No. 2408 which is BBL, kami po ay
natutuwa sapagkat sa pagkakataong ito baka naman sakali na kayo
naman ang makapagbibigay sa amin ng tulong upang ang Bangsamoro
ay umangat at magkaroon po ng pagkakataon katulad ng ibang
rehiyon ng ating Pilipinas. Kasi po kung titingnan ninyo, masyado na
po kaming naiwanan dahil sa laki ng pangyayari dito sa amin.
Ngayon po dito sa BBL, unang-una po, ang aspiration ng
Bangsamoro ay magkaroon po ng sarili niyang national identity in
which the Moro or Bangsamoro.

Pangalawa po, gusto namin ma121

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determine kung saan ba iyong lugar ng moro, na ito iyong gagawin


natin ngayon kung saka-sakali pumasa itong Senate Bill No. 2408 at
saka iyong sa Kongreso na idi-determine na po kung saan iyong mga
lugar na kasama po doon sa moro.
Pangatlo po, iyong hinihingi namin iyong government, iyong
system of government natin, iyong naaayon unang-una sa amin po.
Iyong para sa amin. Ibig sabihin po niyan, ang majority ng nakatira
dito sa Bangsamoro area ay mga Muslim po.

Mayroon po kaming

sariling batas, iyong Sharia po at saka iyong Sunnah ng Rasul.(?)


Iyan po ang mga pinaglalaban namin noon hanggang ngayon po. Kaya
itong sinasabi natin na BBL na ito, maaari pong hindi ito iyong
katapusan hanggang hindi po namin nakakamit iyong sinasabi naming
self-determination. Paano ba
[POWER INTERRUPTION]
THE CHAIRMAN (SEN. MARCOS). Youre back. Okay.
MR. ABDULMAJID.

Para at least, sir, maalala nyo ako kaya

sabi mo yung namatayan ng ilaw ano?


Ngayon po itong sinasabi naming, iyong hinihingi po naming
autonomy, hindi administrative autonomy po kung hindi political
autonomy. Kasi kung halimbawa itong BBL ngayon aalisan din ninyo
ng mga lahat ng medyo puwede naming ipa-govern doon sa area
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namin, ay ang mangyayari babalik na naman tayo katulad ng ARMM.


Experiment na naman iyan, tatlong beses na iyan. So ang mangyayari
po niyan hindi tayoevery kuwan na lang, mayroon tayong inaano.
Kaya gusto po namin, sir, i-address na iyon ngayon. Lahat na ng kung
ano iyong mga pinagsasabi ng kasamahan natin dito, i-address natin
iyan para sa ganoon po minsan lang tayo mag-ano. Hindi na marami
kung ilan iyang beses na iyan. Pang-apat na ito.
Ngayon dito po sa system ng government na ito, iyong isa nga,
iyong

pangatlong

Bangsamoro.

sinasabi

Unang-una,

ko,

tatlo

iyong

po

ang

national

pinaglalaban

identity

which

ng
is

Bangsamoro; pangalawa po, iyong territory, iyong area kung saan


kami naano. Ayaw namin kunin iyong hindi naman para sa amin. Kasi
kung kukunin namin iyon, magiging problema pa namin.

Ang gusto

lang namin iyong kasama sa amin; ang pangatlo po, iyong gobyerno
po na naaayon sa batas ng mga Muslim.

Kaya ang sinasabi namin

doon sa Sharia at saka iyong sa Sunnah ng Rasul.


Ngayon po itong nangyayari ngayon, alam namin nasa inyo na
iyan. Maaari pong magkakaroon kayo ng version ng Senado at saka
ng Kongreso and then pag-isahin po iyan. Ang maganda po diyan kasi
pag dumaan na iyan sa inyo isa-submit iyan sa amin uli, hindi po ba,
for referendum, ganoon.

Ngayon pag ang law na ipapasa ninyo sa


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amin, ibibigay ninyo sa amin na wala namang kakwenta-kwenta,


siyempre aayawan ng tao iyan.
abolished na iyong ARMM?

So saan na tayo pupunta ngayon,

So ang mangyayari niyan, saan tayo

pupunta? Ang magiging alternative niyan, aywan ko kung ano po.


So doon naman po sa system of government dito sa transitional
authority na sinasabi nito, sa akin po ang maganda diyan isali natin
ang mga MNLF pati iyong MILF pero it should be led by the MILF kasi
sila ngayon ang kaharap natin, hindi po ba? Para naman sa ganoon ay
wala nang magko-complain na ang MNLF naiwanan, ang MILF ang
hinaharap ngayon.

Kasi iisa naman po ito, Bangsamoro ito.

Hindi

naman po ito magigingpag sinabi Bangsa-Maranao, ay ayaw ng


Tausug niyan.
Maranao.

Pag sinabi Bangsa-Sama, ayaw rin ng Tausug, ng

Kaya kami nagkakaisa ngayon dito sa Bangsamoro na ito

dahil ito talaga/cbg

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MR. ABDULMAJID.

dahil ito talaga ang identity namin. So

ang hinihingi po namin sa inyo, tingnan ninyo po. Ang tatay niyo po
pinakamagaling na presidente ng Pilipinas, sasabihin ko sa inyo.
Hanggang ngayon, wala pa kaming nahahanap na katulad ni President
Marcos ang galing. Totoo po iyan. [applause]
THE CHAIRMAN (SEN. MARCOS). Thank you.
MR. ABDULMAJID. Kung makikita ninyo po dito na mayroong
mga batas na dapat ninyong gawin, gawin po ninyo.

Gusto namin

kasama namin kayo sa aming paglalakbay sa bagong Bangsamoro


autonomy dahil alam namin sa darating na araw magiging presidente
kayo, InshaAllah.

Iyan po ang inaano namin, so iyon na lang po.

Salamat po.
Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullahi taAllah wa barakatuh.
THE CHAIRMAN (SEN. MARCOS). Thank you very much. Una,
hindi lamang sa inyong pag-alala sa akin
MR. ABDULMAJID. Sali Abdulmajid po.
THE CHAIRMAN (SEN. MARCOS). Yes, thank you very much
and siyempre lahat ng aming maaaring gawin ay gagawin namin para
maging maayosIm sorry, Professor, we
MR. MOHAMMAD. Can I react to the statement, Your Honor?

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THE CHAIRMAN (SEN. MARCOS).

Im afraid not.

You will

take up the time of the others. Im sorry, but we will have to go down
the list.
So, in the interest of good order, the next name on the list is
Abdulajid Estino who represents an NGO, Pazambatazul.
So, Mr. Estino, please.

Can you keep your comments to five

minutes para mapakinggan natin?


MR. ESTINO. Yes, Your Honor. [Muslim Greeting] By the way,
sir, Mr. Senator, before I proceed, lets welcome you to Sulu, province
of Sulu
THE CHAIRMAN (SEN. MARCOS). Thank you.
MR. ESTINO.

for your coming to Sulu as a sign and signal

that the BBL will be passed and approved the soonest.

With all the

amendments that our brothers and sisters have mentioned a while


ago, Mr. Senator, my only point is, this was in concern to the facts
raised by my brothers, the previous speakers.

As a Tausug, I have

nothing but to compromise and to sympathize and concern on the


issues of the Moro National Liberation Front and the Sultanate of Sulu,
and also the issues of Sulu Sea, and the issues of local government
units that have been raised by the mayor of Jolo. But my concern, Mr.
Senator, is that the time constraint here in the passage of the

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Bangsamoro Law may not be favorable to the Congress, to us, as


Bangsamoros, because we still have I think a year or more than a
year, but the proposed timetable for this passage is too acute, Mr.
Senator.

In your own opinion and in my own opinion with these

various cropped up issues that have not been discussed probably in the
previous meetings with the previous Committee that has gone to Sulu,
will you agree with me that there still have time to include and
incorporate these sentiments of our brothers of the MNLF, and our
brothers of Sultanate and other sentiments that have been found (?) in
your Committee as chairman of the Local Government Committee in
the House of Senate, Mr. Senator?
Second, the Bangsamoro Transition Authority, though they have
mentioned about the inclusivity of all members of the Bangsamoro in
the entire Bangsamoro area, with the emerging problems of the MNLF,
brother MNLF, and the Sultanate who now appears to be decisive in
their intention to join this peace effort, Mr. Senator, do you think that
the House of Congress, which is not like you who were able to hear
this muchwho were able to hear this decisive discussion today will be
able to comprehend and accept, and agree with you in the time when
the Senate now will call a joint session for this purpose of discussion of
this bill, Mr. Senator?

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Thank you, Mr. Senator.


THE CHAIRMAN (SEN. MARCOS). Thank you, Mr. Estino.
The issue of the available time, not only to the Senate and the
House of Representatives, but even upon passage of the BBL available
to

the

transition

masyadong mabilis.

commission

has

been

questioned

na

parang

So, we are aware of the timetables and the

deadlines that have been proposed but, again, the priority is always
going to be the propriety, legality, constitutionality, and enforceability
of the BBL. So that is always our prime concern. We hope to do it in
the timetables and schedules that have been given us, but we will not
compromise the quality of the BBL just to conform to those deadlines.
And as to hearing the comments by joint session, the procedure in the
Congress is to hear it separately, and that is why that is what we have
been doing.
Wed like to now move on to the next speaker, Najar Sariol,
representing MASJID AL-ISLA.
Is Mr. Sariol still here?
Naririnig niyo pa ba ako? Hindi na.
If Mr. Sariol is not available, well go next down the list, the lead
convenor of the Tausug Network, Mr. Edmund Gumbahali.

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MR. GUMBAHALI. Bismillah hir rahman nir raheem. Assalamu


alaikum wa rahmatullahi taAllah wa barakatuh. Your Honor, welcome
to the homeland Sulu. If you would want, Your Honor, to read the
wishes and expectations of our people, you will not be misled to know
that there is no alternate to independence of Mindanao and the
sovereign state of Sulu. Kahit po itanong natin dito, that is the very
dictum that you can see deep in their hearts.

However, the

government is politically constrained to respond to that demand and


we ended up with a political settlement which is autonomy.

The

strongest autonomy, Your Honor, that the Philippine government has


granted to the Bangsamoro people is the Tripoli Agreement, and it was
significantly during the administration of your late great father, former
President Ferdinand Edralin Marcos, peace be upon him and may God
grant him the paradise he deserves.
autonomy

that

the

Philippine

That is so far the strongest

government

has

granted

to

the

Bangsamoro people. And now, the fruit of that autonomy, the 9054,
the present ARMM will soon be abrogated and be replaced to the
weakest autonomy that the Philippine government would grant to the
Bangsamoro people.

The autonomy, Your Honor, that we always

question why BBL is done in haste. Bakit napakadali, and the process
is too short. It is exclusive/mrjc

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MR. GUMBAHALI.
the MILF.

It is exclusive that is being architected by

You know why?

Of course, we have the Bangsamoro

Transition Commission participated by our very own Tausug women


like Fatmawati Salapuddin.
But remember, as what our brother, Atty. Tammang, said, they
cannot go beyond the terms because the one that they are using as
the basis for their crafting the law is the comprehensive agreement
and that comprehensive agreement is being architected by the
Maranaos and the Maguindanaos alone. Unlike what we did during the
administration of your great father, the Maranaos, the Maguindanaos
were there in the party when they signed the Tripoli Agreement. So
meaning, hindi po totoo, huwag tayong maglokohan, hindi totoong
inclusive. Its exclusive. And that is the weakest, the most fractured,
the most problematic peace agreement ever the Philippine government
will grant to our people.
Your Honor, I would like to present this 38-year old document
that is being signed by your father for your reference. I am doubting if
you still have the copy of this.

And we appreciate also that your

mother is being part of these historical events. This is signed by your


father through the initiative of your mother, Imelda RomualdezMarcos.
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Can I have somebody to take this for the record of the Senator?
Your Honor, lastly, we would likeI dont delve on the provisions
because we have lots of intellectuals already scrutinized the provisions
of the BBL. But what we are proposing now, as what you have said,
you will not compromise of the time frame given to the Senate. We
demand for the lengthy discussion, lengthy deliberation of this BBL in
order

to

generate

more

wisdom

and

the

legality

and

the

constitutionality should not be the sole basis in crafting this law. The
historical prerogatives should also be considered if you wish to respond
to the wishes and expectations of our people.
And finally, should there be a genuine autonomy because we
know, we can feel and we can see this BBL will be under state of
judicial track of the Supreme Court. We are not praying but we see
the possibility.

Should there be a genuine autonomy and that in

consideration to so many impending issues that were raised by Sulu


and its people, we demand and we see to it that the autonomy we
have in the future should be a Tausug-led political entity. We have so
many issues.

The Maranao, wala silang issue.

Kami ang maraming

problema. So we should always be leading the new political entity for


our people.
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And, Honorable Chaiman of this Senate Committee, please help


us check, help us correct the understanding of the people of Luzon and
Visayas that we are not a tribe.

We are not a tribe but we are a

nation, a sovereign nation before and we do hope the younger


generation can continue the struggle. Please be with us. Senator, be
with us and we will ensure a popular commitment of support because
soon we see you will be leading this country. [Applause] And we do
hope, as you lead this country, there is a follow-through political
initiative for us to pursue the federalism. Of course, its too early for
us to talk about federalism. We are still in the process of our struggle
for autonomy.
Maraming salamat po.
Count one vote for me. We will vote for you as you give your
heart to the Bangsamoro people.
Maraming salamat po.
[Applause]
THE CHAIRMAN (SEN. MARCOS).

Thank you very much.

Thank you very much for the early expression of support.


As we have mentioned, we are continuing this process with an
eye to the timetables but, again, that is not the primary priority of the
Committee. The primary priority of the Committee is to put this right.
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The question of being inclusive is something that we are trying to


remedy. It is a question that has been avoided, actually, during the
discussions of BBL as it has not been specific part of the BBL.

But,

again, if we are going to look at the concept and principles behind the
BBL, we cannot help but look to see how the MNLF has to be included,
how the other groups have to be included, how other armed groups
have to be included or if the case is that they abandon the peace
process, then how are we to deal with those armed groups? There is
nothing in the BBL about that, there has been no discussion about
that. It is, I think, one of the weaknesses that the BBL incorporates
into its existence, the fact that it is solely an agreement between the
MILF and the Philippine government.
To proceed to the next speaker, we call on the Fifth Sharia
Circuit CourtMr. Jorshon Hailil who is of the Fifth Sharia Circuit
Court in the Hall of Justice.
Yes. Please take any mike that you have near to you.
MR. HAILIL.

Thank you, Honorable Senator, for giving me

time to say something.


First of all, I would like to introduce myself. I am Jorshon Hailil,
a government

employee of Fifth Sharia Circuit Court, stationed

at Patikul, Sulu.
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At the outset, Mr. Senator, the future president of the Republic


of the Philippines, allow us to greet you a greeting of peace,
assalamualaikum warahmatullahi taala wabarakatuh.
Actually, thank you for visiting us, in coming a long way from the
City of Manila to the Islands of Promise, the province of Sulu.
Your Honor, we have already read the context and importance of
the Bangsamoro Basic Law. We firmly believe that the proposed law
represents the desires and sentiments of Bangsamoro people through
self-determination and self-identity. It will also pave the way for peace
and developmentbhg

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MR. HAILIL. and development for all Mindanaoans, Muslims,


Lumads and Christians alike.

It is the most immediate available

opportunity for putting an end to all the useless violence in Mindanao


and for finally bringing about lasting peace.
Mr. Senator, we believe in your capacity as chairman of this
Committee and we are hoping that you will cast your vote for peace.
Your father, the late President Ferdinand Marcos, was the first
president who negotiated peace with Muslims in Mindanao and we are
confident enough that we will be the one to continue the wisdom of
your father.
Mr. Senator, this is a history.

Your favorable vote for the

proposed bill is a heroic act for Bangsamoro people. It will serve as


your legacy and a legacy of yours in this world forever.
Thank you.
THE CHAIRMAN (SEN. MARCOS). Thank you very much, Mr.
Hailil.
Rest assured that, again, the principles and the ideas that are
embodied in the Tripoli Agreement will serve as a guide to all that we
are trying to do and the question again of the final peace agreement. I
do not talk specifically of any document, but the final agreement for
peace for Muslim Mindanao will be an inclusive one.

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We move on now to call on Mr. Mohammad Faizal Alih, member


of Matawkasi, Inc.
MR. ALIH.

Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullahi taAllah wa

barakatuh.
Honorable Senator Ferdinand Marcos Jr.; Honorable Abdusakur
Toto Tan II, our provincial governor; and vice governor, Honorable
Abdusakur Tan; distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen, Assalamu
alaikum wa rahmatullahi taAllah wa barakatuh. Good afternoon to all
of you.
We know and we believe peace, unification and reconciliation is
the most important to the Bangsamoro people, lalo na po dito sa amin
sa Sulu. Mr. Senator, we ask a favor, please help us to build a lasting
peace in the entire Bangsamoro homeland because we believe that the
only solution to address our problem is just to keep peace anywhere in
all the time. Let us work together to keep the peace by passing the
BBL without delay and without diluting to the provisions because more
than four decades the Bangsamoro people are becoming more
maginalized compared with the other region.
Thank you po.
THE CHAIRMAN (SEN. MARCOS). Thank you.

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That is noted.

I cannot promise that we will not amend many

portions of the draft BBL but certainly, we will not delay and we will
not stand in the way of the final solution to this problem.
Next on the list that had registered a desire to speak is Zanzibar
Hadjulani, the chairman of the Anak Sug Alliance.

I dont know if I

read that right. Its not very legible. Anak Sug Alliance.
Thank you.
Mr. Hadjulani, you have the floor.
MR. HADJULANI. Bismillah hir rahman nirahim.
Next president of our republic, the honorable Senator Bongbong
Marcos; our beloved governor, Abdusakur Toto Tan; our recognized
supreme leader of the peoples leadership, the honorable Vice
Governor
Lagdameo,

Abdusakur

Tan;

congressman

of

the

honorable

Davao;

the

Congressman

honorable

Anton

guests;

the

honorable resource persons and all representatives of the civil


societies, I would like to greet you the greeting of Islam, Assalamu
alaikum wa rahmatullahi taAlllah wa barakatuh.
As of now, Your Honor, we do not have position paper to submit
because of the truth that we are still ignorant and do not understand
what is BBL. If you could only remember, Your Honor, it is our group,
this group who had series of rally in the House of Senate and in the

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House

of

Representatives,

and

had

submitted

more

than

500

signatures of our members in support of His Excellencys program for


the postponement of the ARMM election when the hope of--if you will
appoint regional governor, will institute reform in the autonomous
government but sorry, Your Honor, we failed.
So in behalf of the Anak Sug Alliance for Peace and Progress,
with 100,000 members nationwide, with office in Metro Manila, we
strongly oppose as of now BBL due to lack of consultation and
representation of the Tausug leadership in the future Bangsamoro
government. And that is injustice to our people because how could we
honestly vote or exercise our freedom of suffrage in the plebiscite to
be held for the purpose if we do not even understand what is BBL.
Another second opposition, Your Honor, in behalf of our
organization, we cannot accept that the historical right of the Bangsa
Tausug will be under the commission of the BBL without, again,
consultation with all the heirs of the Sultanate of Sulu and with the
leaders of the Tausug people.

So in this connection, Your Honor, in

support to the request of the secretary general of the Sultanate of


Sulu, Abraham Idjirani, and supported also by the suggestion of the
honorable mayor of Jolo, we would like to request another hearing,

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possibly exclusive hearing intended only to the heirs of the Sultanate


and to the Tausug leaders in Metro Manila.
Thank you very much, Your Honor.
THE CHAIRMAN (SEN. MARCOS). Thank you.
Im happy to be able to announce that, as I mentioned earlier,
we are scheduling a hearing that is specifically set for--to listen to the
views of the different sultanates. So that is something that I am able
to impart to you now, that we are going to have that.
MR. HADJULANI. Thank you very much, Your Honor.
As a matter of fact, we are not still satisfied with the explanation
why the Sulu Sea changed to Bangsamoro water, we will not really
permit that Sulu archipelago, our homeland, will be under the BBL.
Thank you very much.
THE CHAIRMAN (SEN. MARCOS). Thank you, Mr. Hadjulani.
Your points have been well-taken and certainly you are validating
what other speakers have said.
The penultimate speaker is Sharif Juhor Hali, president of the
Directorial of Islamic Office of the Philippines. Is that correct?
MR. HALI. Bismillah hir rahman nirahim. Assalamu alaikum wa
rahmatullahi wa barakatuh.

Magandang-magandang hapon po sa

ating lahat/imee

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MR. HALI. Magandang hapon po sa ating lahat.


Una sa lahat po ay kami po ay nagpapasalamat sa ating butihing
Senador na binigyan po ng kahalagahan ang aming karapatan sa mga
Muslim.
Gusto ko pong i-explain din iyong right ng Tausug groups kaya
lang halos naubos na Senador, na-explain nila nang lahat. Mayroong
nag-request sa akin kanina na marami rito na hindi nakakaintindi iyong
iba ng ingles kaya kailangan daw maintindihan nila itong pinagusapan.
So ang BBL po ay, excuse, mahal naming Senador, una po
ipanawagan namin sa aming mga kababayan na Tausug kasi majority
po ang Tausug na MNLF kaysa sa Maranao, Maguindanao, Iranun. Ang
Tausug ay nagkaroon na po ng final peace agreement at GRP kaya
nananawagan po kami sa mga kapatid naming Tausug ay gampanan
po natin ang ating karapatan. Huwag po nating isakay sa mga taong
sumakay sa karapatan natin. Panawagan po namin ito kung maaari po
sana, isa lang ang nakikita natin ikakabuti sa Tausug dito sa BBL,
iyong pagkakaisa ng Tausug.

Isa lang po ang nakikita natin.

Maski

hindi na po tanungin ng Tausug, ibalik doon sa mga kapatid nating MI


ang tanong, before po nagkaroon ng usapang pangkapayapaan wala
pa po ang Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighter. Doon po nagkaroon

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ng Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighter noong nagkaroon na po ng


usapang BBL at GRP.

Kaya maski hindi na tanungin iyong Tausug

bakit sila against sa BBL, maski iyong Maguindanao na parehas na MI,


against din po sila. Kaya maraming salamat po sa inyong lahat.
Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullahi taala.
THE CHAIRMAN (SEN. MARCOS). Thank you, Mr. Sharif Juhor
Hali, for your comments.
The last speaker that we have time for is Abdul Sahrin Kong,
Secretary General, MNLF Central Committee.
Na-promote ko po kayo but I have been corrected.
MR. SAHRIN.

Your Honor, Senator Ferdinand Marcos Jr.,

Honorable Governor Abdusakur Tan Jr., Honorable Vice Governor


Abdusakur Tan Sr., Honorable Representative Anton Lagdameo,
Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh.
Magandang hapon sa inyong lahat.
Marami na akong narinig, ang BBL draft of future autonomous
government in the Southern Philippines kumbaga sa katawan ng tao,
maraming sakit, Your Honor. It is being afflicted. I mean, kumbaga
sa katawan ng tao, ang BBL is being afflicted by several kinds of
diseases

because

last

year

there

were

series

of

consultations

conducted by the proponents of BBL. In fact, representative of OPAPP

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and representatives of the MILF, they went around the island provinces
to sell BBL to the people. But the feedback that we received is that
BBL is hardly saleable in the island provinces. Maraming tao, in fact
great majority of the people of the island provinces of Sulu, Tawi Tawi
and Basilan hindi na gustong magtanggap sa BBL. Sabi nila nandiyan
ang 9054.

Sabi nila nandiyan ang peace agreement ng gobyerno at

saka MNLF, hindi pa natapos, bakit lulukso doon sa ibang peace


agreement?

Bakit iiwanan ng peace panel ng gobyerno ng Pilipinas

ang peace negotiation with the MNLF being implemented already and it
is being reviewed by the tripartite meeting pero ang ginawa ng panel
ng government lumukso doon sa ibang peace agreement with the MILF
para magkaroon sila ng another peace agreement.
So, Your Honor, if we are going to hold a plebiscite between now
and June 2015, supposedly the time when this BBL draft will be
enacted in Congress and submitted to the President, I think itong
probinsya dito sa Sulu archipelago, Tawi Tawi, Sulu and Basilan, hindi
sila makasama. Kung hindi makasama because they are objecting the
BBL, ang pinagpawisan ng MNLF sa loob ng more than forty years, four
decades since the time of your father, magigiba.

The territorial

jurisdiction of the ARMM which is the product of 47 years of sacrifices


by the MNLF will be destroyed, Your Honor.

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So anong gagawin natin ngayon?

I appreciate the initiative and

resourcefulness of both Houses of Congress and concerned officials of


the

national

government

to

go

around,

conduct

hearings

and

consultation in order to ensure the success of the passage of this new


law.
Your Honor, as far as the MNLF is concerned, some of us, not the
entire MNLF, some of us tried to put importance to the call of the
Organization of Islamic Cooperation advising the MNLF and the MILF to
converge, to integrate and harmonize their two peace agreements
under the Bangsamoro Basic Law.

We responded but not the entire

MNLF, only some members of the Central Committee that is why


nagkaroon kami ng Bangsamoro Coordinating Forum.

It is a

mechanism to establish convergence and harmonization of the two


peace agreements, the MNLF and the MILF. So we attended, in fact
the latest meeting, Your Honor, is the BCF meeting held in Davao City
on April 19. We talked, face to face.

I was a member of the MNLF

panel, we talked face to face with the MILF delegations headed by the
Chief Negotiator Mohagher Iqbal. Our side, we have Attorney Parcasio
and Muslimin Sema. Chairman Misuari was not thereof course Your
Honor knows the reason why he was not there. We tried to establish
harmonization of the two peace agreements because there are two

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objectives of the OIC in advising us to converge under the BBL. One


objective is to preserve the gains of the MNLF under the 1976 and the
1996 Final Peace Agreement.

The preservation of the gains in that

convergence and also to ensure the implementation/cbg

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MR.

SAHRIN.

to

ensure

the

implementation

of

the

Comprehensive Agreement on Bangsamoro. But we were informed by


the MILF delegation that actually there is no convergence. There is no
harmonization in terms of MNLF draft submitted to the MILF and
making it integrated with their own draft, the Comprehensive
Agreement on Bangsamoro. We were informed by the MILF panel that
as far as the good points of Republic Act No. 9054 is concerned and
the 42 consensus points achieved by the tri-partite meeting, it is
already integrated under the BBL.

But they did not exercise the

elementary courtesy of informing us beforehand.

There was no

consultation before they did that harmonization. So I would say, Your


Honor, that as far as the MILF is concerned they had a copy about
what is being done at the level of the Bangsamoro coordinating forum.
Despite that, we continue to support the call of the OIC because we
have been with the OIC for the last 47 years.

They are our facilitator.

The OIC you know, Your Honors, is composed of 57 member states


THE CHAIRMAN (SEN. MARCOS). I am sorry, I have to hurry
you because we are constrained by the weather.
MR. SAHRIN.
presentation.

Yes.

So I now conclude, Your Honor, my

The history of the Muslim in southern Philippines is

established on the sultanates.

The sultanate is the political and

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religious institution.

And we are the first nation, I am sorry to say

that there were two nations.

The first nation is the history of the

Sultanate of Sulu, responsible for providing us with the political and


religious institution that sustained our struggle for so many centuries.
And the other sultanate is the Sultanate of Maguindanao. They have
their own sultanate.

There has never been an empire in southern

Philippines. Therefore, Your Honor, I would like to suggest that in the


quest for a political solution to the problem, I suggest that we must
have a separate political solution to the problem of the Sultanate of
Sulu and its territories.
THE CHAIRMAN (SEN. MARCOS). Okay, thank you.
MR. SAHRIN. And another solution to mainland Mindanao.
Thank you very much.
THE CHAIRMAN (SEN. MARCOS).
Thank you very much for that.

Thank you very much.

That is a point that has been made

repeatedly all throughout these hearings.


And now to end this proceedings, the vice-governor of the
Province of Sulu, Vice Governor Sakur Tan has asked to make a few
closing remarks.
Vice Governor, please. [applause]

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MR. A. TAN.
rahmanir

rahim.

A uzu billahi minashaitanir rajim bismillahir


Assalamualaikum

wahrahmatullahi

taalla

wabarakatuh.
Senator Marcos, sir, thank you very much for coming down to
Sulu to consult with our people, together with Congressman Lagdameo
at sa ating mga ibang opisyal from the national government, from the
military, from the police and, of course, our mayors who are present
here. Maraming, maraming salamat at nandidito pa kayo.
Actually, this is only about the second time that a consultation
was initiated by people from Manila with our people here in Sulu. The
other consultations that we had were consultations that were initiated
not by the OPAPP, not by any entity, not by the MILF, but by the
provincial government of Sulu because we want to know what is going
to be our future. The only time that consultation started or initiated by
Manila was when Congressman Rufus

Rodriguez together with the

members of his committee came and this is consultation initiated


voluntarily

by

Senator

Marcos,

accompanied

by

Congressman

Lagdameo to consult with our people.


If you ask our people right now Im sure not even 5 percent of
those who are present here now have read the draft basic law.

I,

myself, have not read it. I asked my lawyers to go over it. I told my

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lawyers we are for peace.

And my lawyers came up with a position

paper which we submitted to the Honorable Senator Marcos, as well as


to OPAPP, to Malacaang, and also to Congressman Rodriguez. These
are provisions that, according to our lawyers, are inherent in the
different offices, especially constitutional offices, namely:

the Civil

Service, the Comelec, the COA, the National Police Commission, the
Human Rights Commission, and others. The authority does not belong
to Congress.

That is a constitutional matter that is given to those

constitutional offices. But over and above these certain questions that
are peculiar only to the Province of Sulu were also raised. In fact, the
matter of wali, which was raised earlier, we said this time and again
that it is never in the annals or in the history of Sulu was there any
wali.

If this model is patterned after the Malaysian model where they

have the Agung and the chief minister, perhaps there must be a
reason why they do not call it the Sultan of Sulu, as being the Wali
or the head of the state. Because in Malaysia, the head of the state is
the Agung, the head of the government is the prime minister.

So

there are so many reasons that we think are suspicious, or many


issues that we think are suspicious.
The matter of the Sulu Sea. Remember that so small is the size
of Sulu compared to the countries all over the world where you have

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Indian Ocean, the Arabian Sea, the South China Sea, the Celebes Sea,
the Red Sea, the Dead Sea, and yet you have the Sulu Sea.

How

many of the countries have this kind of sea? Now, even the Philippine
government, the Christian Philippine government, when they drafted or
gave us certain jurisdiction over our waters, they only call it the
territorial waters of your municipality. And I recall it, the Philippine
territorial waters of that municipality. But right now, what? They call
it The Bangsamoro Territorial Water.
names?

Why do we have to change

Remember that you can change names, but you can never

change history.
So, I would think, Mr. Chairman, since pagbibigyan ninyo ang
ating mga sultan ng isang araw or at least time to be heard in Manila,
as well as the Moro National Liberation Front, may we ask also that the
local officials, the governors, the five governors, together with capital
town mayors and city mayors be likewise given the same opportunity
so that we can also give our views and sentiments on this BBL? Who
does not like peace? /mrjc

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MR. A. TAN.

Who does not like peace? Look at the kind of

arrangements that we have.

They say that we have lots of

improvements already but if you compare the ARMM to the provinces


outside of the ARMM, are we any better than them? I dont believe we
are any better than them. Even just the arrangement, to me--excuse
my words--this is very foolish, where you have two provinces in the
mainland and another three provinces in the islands where you have to
cross at least three regions before you can reach your headquarters or
at least the central government of the autonomous regionregional
government. From Sulu, you have to go through Region IX, that is in
Zamboanga;

from Zamboanga, you have to go to Davaothis is

Region X; from Davao, you have to go to Cotabatothis is Region XII;


and from Cotabato, you go to ARMM.

This is something very weird,

you know.
So with this, in a way, hopefully, the invitation will come, I
mean, soon enough. We are very, very much interested to be heard
about the future of our people. The future that does not belong to us
anymore but to our children and the generations to come.
Mga katoto(?) ad mga huran, magsukol hangan sang Tausug.
They always call us Moros. The word Moro came from the

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Spaniards.

This was institutionalized by the Americans.

We are

Tausug.
Anyway, thank you very much. Wassalamu alaikum.
[Applause]
THE CHAIRMAN (SEN. MARCOS). Thank you very much, Vice
Governor Sakur Tan.
I would just like at this point to thank all of you who have
participated, who have patiently waited to speak and patiently listened
to all the points that have been made.
I take on-board the suggestion of Vice Governor Sakur Tan and
we will look into scheduling a hearing specifically for the local
government executives, both in the proposed Bangsamoro territory
and those whove considered themselves stakeholders in the passage
of the Bangsamoro Basic Law.
With that, thank you all very much.

These proceedings are

suspended.
[Applause]
[THE HEARING WAS SUSPENDED AT 2:58 P.M.]

/bhg

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