We, members and supporters of the nascent coalition “FRIENDS OF THE BANGSAMORO (FoB)”, express our appreciation and support for the open and participative process in the Ad Hoc Committee of the House of Representatives tasked to guide the birth of the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL). We are encouraged by the openness and willingness of the committee and other House members to engage with civil society organizations and their supporters, both outside as well as in the halls of Congress. The first Committee hearing on the BBL (House Bill 4994) gave an encouraging sign towards an open, participative and inclusive law-crafting process in the enactment of HB 4994 also known as Senate Bill 2408.
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Today, we peace advocates and supporters gathered, take this occasion to mark the first public hearing on the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL), now lodged with Congress as House Bill 4994. This historic piece of legislation was birthed in conflict and nurtured in a hopeful peace. For many of us here today, the BBL holds a big part of Mindanao’s promise and destiny in its hands. We take the time and mark this day for what it has cost generations past, yet stand resolute and unbowed at the daunting task still ahead for all of us who are invested and engaged in these processes.