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Zubiri looks back on BOL as hardest, rewarding legislation

MARAWI CITY, Lanao del Sur (PIA)–Recalling and citing all his backings on bills turned into laws, Senator Juan Miguel Zubiri bared that his sponsorship of the Bangsamoro Organic Law (BOL) was, by far, the most difficult yet rewarding duty he had to take as a legislator.

He remembered that it was during the aftermath of the destruction of the country’s lone Islamic City here when everyone witnessed the struggle of displaced residents that they sought the power of then-President Rodrigo Roa Duterte to make progress on the law for the Bangsamoro region.

Accordingly, it was in an emergency meeting held in Malacañang when some senators, including Zubiri, petitioned the President and conveyed that conflicts and resentment of small sectors in the country would not cease if they would not correct injustices through the foundation of a just and honest autonomous region, thus, the birth of the BOL that paved the way for the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM).

Zubiri shared that Duterte granted the appeal and even asked him to sponsor the law since he was a Mindanaoan and could sympathize with the feeling of being affected by a firefight and war which resulted in the downturn of the economy and hardships of the residents.

Eager to pursue his goal for the Bangsamoro region, the senator agreed despite the difficulties he would encounter.

“I took that challenge and it was the most difficult challenge that I had to take politically because ang pagsulat ng Organic Law ay hindi parang bastang nagsusulat ka lang ng simpleng batas. Hindi simple iyan [crafting the Organic Law is not like simply writing a simple law. That is not simple],” he said.

Zubiri mentioned that he requested help from other members of the House of Senate which was answered positively with everyone extending support and no one opposing.

He showed his delightedness with the fortunate event, stating that he would never forget such.

“It may have been the hardest legislation that I have ever sponsored and authored but it was the most rewarding. Noong pinasa namin iyan, ang Bicameral Committee Report, iyakan kami lahat. Lahat ng mga biktima [we all cried. All the victims] of atrocities and war, they were there in the Senate together with the different non-government organizations (NGOs), brother Muslim representatives and members of Congress. Talagang naghiyawan at nag-iyakan na finally, naipasa na namin ang [We really hailed and cried that finally, we were able to pass the] Bicameral Committee Congress Report. One of the most memorable experiences of my political career,” said Zubiri.

Apart from the BOL, he also sponsored the establishment of the National Commission for Muslim Filipinos (NCMF), the declaration of Eid’l Adha as a national holiday, the extension of the Bangsamoro Transition Authority, and the enactment of the Marawi Siege Victims Compensation Act.

Looking back on his journey, Zubiri guaranteed that he would continue to be of service to the Bangsamoro citizens as he delivered gratitude for the support he received, especially during the last national election.

“I am here for all Muslims. We have been working since day 1 as a legislator, as a first-term Congressman hanggang naging three-term Senator tayo [until we became three-term Senator]. We have been working very hard to help our brother and sister Muslims. Nagpapasalamat din ako sa tulong na binigay niyo sa akin dito. Sabi ko lahat ng pangangailangan ng Lanao del Sur ay ibibigay natin [I also thank you for the help that you have given me. I said we will give all the needs of Lanao del Sur] this coming 2023,” he said. (CRG/PIA-10/Lanao del Sur)

Photo Release: 

Senator Juan Miguel Zubiri shares that the enactment of the Bangsamoro Organic Law was his most difficult but rewarding legislation as crafting such was not as easy as making a simple law. (Jason Casas/PIA-10/Lanao del Sur)

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