Converted Muslim action star Robin Padilla urged congress to pass the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL), now called the proposed Basic Law for the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region, on his personal visit to the House of Representatives last June 1, Monday. Padilla, who was wearing a red long-sleeved shirt with an imprint of Pope Francis’s face in front of the shirt and Sen. Allan Peter Cayetano’s at the back, thanked lawmakers who passed the bill and called on the others to do the same.
An excerpt of the Pope’s commendation to the Philippine government and Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) for brokering a peace deal after 17 years of negotiations which was issued during his five-day state and pastoral visit to the Philippines, was also printed on Padilla’s shirt at the bottom of the pontiff’s picture. The quote reads, “I note with pleasure that last March an agreement was signed to end long years of tension in the Philippines.”
On the back of his shirt, the words “The Holy Father of the Catholic Church supports the BBL. Are you taking the side of the Pope or the side of this politician?” were inscribed on top of Sen. Cayetano’s picture. “Mas maraming teroristang Kristyano (There are more Christian terrorists)“, was also added at the bottom.
While Padilla is a supporter of the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL), Cayetano is the exact opposite. After the incident of the Fallen 44 in Maguindanao last January, which was allegedly believed to be the doing of the MILF, Cayetano withdrew his support and opposed the passing of the law.
Padilla admitted that he himself had doubts about the law when it was first introduced, but after his inquiries were answered by the government peace panel, he realized the whole country can benefit from it. While he understands that not all legislators would agree to the bill, he emphasized Pope Francis’s support on the peace process.
“Kahit ito’y usaping Muslim, ito’y suportado ng Simbahang Katolika. Wala na tayong mahihiling pa (It is a Muslim issue, but the Catholic church supported it. What more can we ask for?)”, he said.
Feature Image credit: rappler.com