December 16, 2018, Provincial Multi-Purpose Gymnasium, Sulu– In a Sulu leaders and Ulama forum this afternoon, Religious Scholars and Members of the Muslim Students Association (MSA) Sulu Chapter supported calls for the rejection of the Bangsamoro Organic Law (BOL). The MILF backed BOL, signed into Law by President Rodrigo Duterte late this year, and subject for ratification by the people in a plebiscite set this coming January 21, 2019 and February 6, 2019. R.A.11054 or the BOL, aims to replace and expand the territory of the Organic Act of 1996 which created the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao or ARMM.
During the forum , Sulu Grand Mufti Julasri Abirin, dispel claims or notion circulated by pro BOL ADVOCATES that voting “ No to BOL “ is tantamount of being anti Muslim or not a Muslim.
“The issue here is about the future our People, and not about Islam. I am not aware of any Hadith, Sunnah or Surah that can be attributed to their claim. This is a political issue, their claim has no basis whatsoever. Our main purpose is to protect the integrity of our culture and serve the best interests and welfare of the Tausug.”, he said.
In an interview with ABS – CBN News Channel ANC Thursday, Former Chief Justice Reynato Puno said
“The petition raised against the Bangsamoro Organic Law is reminiscent of the Memorandum of Agreement on the Ancestral Domain, which was unanimously scrapped by the Supreme Court in 2008.
The petition, filed by Sulu Governor Abdusakur Tan II, argues that Congress is not allowed to abolish the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao through the Bangsamoro law, and it may only do so through an amendment of the Constitution.”
“Those points have already been raised. They were raised when the constitutionality of the MOA-AD was raised before the Supreme Court. If you remember, the Supreme Court unanimously struck down that MOA-AD,” .
Asked if the petition against the BOL is strong, Puno said: “The Supreme Court, if the petition is weak, immediately dismisses it. But in this case, I understand that the Supreme Court issued an order for the respondents in the government to comment.”
In his Speech, former Governor Datu Shabandar Abdusakur M. Tan highlighted several provisions of Republic Act No. 11054 or the BOL, which are in violation of the 1987 constitution,
The automatic inclusion of Sulu in the Proposed Bangsamoro Autonoumous Region or BAR, violateS the preservation of indigenous minorities Cultural identity and their right to ancestral domains and lands.
Other provisions are : The form of government, BangsaMoro Transition Commission Authority to lead transition Phase, Plebiscite – no opt out provision and collective “as one” voting count instead of Constituent unit majority approval of votes for the Purpose.
The same Provisions were cited in the Petition filed by the provincial government to the Supreme Court, asking the court to declare the BOL unconstitutional.
Former Sulu Governor Datu Shabandar Abdusakur M. Tan, has echoed and explained these issues in various fora as basis in his opposition to BOL.
“Support in opposing the BOL is gaining momentum, with further discussion on the merits of the BOL, we are confident more people will choose what is right and just for SULU and it’s future.”