Maranaos threaten to issue fatwah vs Marcos, other lawmakers

HUNDREDS of Maranaos have threatened to issue a fatwah against Senator Ferdinand Marcos Jr. and other lawmakers who are against the original form of the Bangsamoro Basic Law.

A fatwah is a legal opinion issued by a religious leader of Islamic or a council of imams.

Chanting "BBL! BBL!" the Maranaos attended a rally in downtown Marawi City Monday to urge Congress to pass the original BBL measure that was signed by the government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF).

Leaders took turns in denouncing Marcos for writing a substitute bill that they said did not contain the aspirations of the Bangsamoro people and did away with 17 years of negotiations.

"BBL is not dead. It is alive in the hearts and minds of the Bangsamoro," Drieza Liningding, head of the Bangsamoro for Peace and Development, said. "It is not the substitute bill written by Senator Bongbong Marcos or the bill passed by the House ad hoc committee."

As a show of their disgust, Maranaos took turns smearing red paid on a tarpaulin bearing the images of Marcos and his father, the late President Ferdinand Marcos.

"You and your father have a huge blood debt against our people," cried a young student.

Marawi community leader Aga khan Sharief said the martial law regime of President Marcos had victimized thousands of Maranaos and Bangsamoros who were killed and tortured because they were suspected to be separatist rebels.

"Now Bongbong is repeating the deed of his father. His refusal to pass the original form of the BBL is tantamount of killing the aspirations of our people," Sharief said.

The Senate and the House of Representatives have less than 11 days to pass their versions of the proposed bill. Only then can the two versions reconciled in a bicameral session.

Marcos said Senate Bill 3894, which is his substitute proposal to the BBL, contains strong safeguards against reckless appropriations and misuse of funds.

"The appropriations and use of funds that would be made by the Bangsamoro parliament shall be audited by the Commission on Audit," Marcos said in a statement.

But the Marawi leaders have rejected Marcos' explanation and passed resolutions to push for the passage of the BBL original form.

"Through this manifesto, the only acceptable bill for the Bangsamoro people is the drafted by the Bangsamoro Transition Council and duly signed by President Aquino as a priority bill in Congress," said Datu Musa Sultan, president of the Ranao Confederation for Peace.

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