MAGUINDANAO, Philippines — The Maguindanao provincial government will ask the Supreme Court to dismiss petitions against the Bangsamoro Organic Law, which voters in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao ratified in a plebiscite this month.
The province’s peace and order council, which includes representatives of local government units in Maguindanao, the police, the military and other law enforcement agencies, passed a resolution on Wednesday for Gov. Esmael Mangudadatu to act on its behalf.
Mangudadatu said Thursday he has enlisted two lawyers—Israelito Torreon and Abubakar Katambak—to seek the dismissal of petitions seeking to stop the implementation of the BOL.
The BOL was ratified in a plebiscite in provinces of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao and in Cotabato City on January 21. Isabela City, Basilan voted to reject the BOL.
The BOL is the enabling measure for the replacement of ARMM with a Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, or BARMM, as agreed by the peace panels of the government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front.
Among those who had asked the Supreme Court to stop the BOL’s implementation is Sulu Gov. Abdusakur Tan, Jr. Abdusakur Sr., the governor’s father, is known for his strong opposition to the BOL.
“We will start initiating legal moves next week. People in the ARMM provinces have spoken. They have voted in favor of the BOL during the January 21 plebiscite in the autonomous region. What is there to oppose? That was a democratic exercise and people voted freely,” Mangudadatu said.
Except for Sulu, voters in ARMM’s four other provinces, Maguindanao, Lanao del Sur, Basilan and Tawi-Tawi voted in favor of the measure.
The elder Tan, who had served as governor of the province for three consecutive terms prior to the election of his son in 2016, campaigned against the BOL’s ratification.
“We in Maguindanao do not fear anything about the BOL. It was drafted by representatives from the government and the MILF, approved by the House of Representatives and the Senate and was also approved by stakeholders to the Mindanao peace process via a plebiscite,” Mangudadatu said.