MANILA (Mabuhay) — The draft Bangsamoro Basic Law will be submitted to Congress when it resumes session in July, Malacañang and the Bangsamoro Transition Commission (BTC) committed on Tuesday.
“At present, efforts have already been made to coordinate with the Senate and House leadership to ensure that the draft BBL is submitted to Congress when sessions resume in July,” Executive Secretary Paquito Ochoa Jr. and BTC chair Mohagher Iqbal said in a joint statement released Tuesday.
The BBL will formalize the creation of the Bangsamoro political entity that will replace the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM). Its draft, which was crafted by the 15-member BTC, was based on the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro (CAB) signed late March.
Ochoa and Iqbal said they acknowledge the urgency behind the passage of the BBL but that they also recognize that a “thorough, extensive and comprehensive review of the draft law’s numerous provisions is a necessary part of the process to ensure that these are consistent with what the parties agreed upon in the 17 years of peace negotiation.”
“We believe that investing time in this process will redound to the benefit of all, laying the foundations for peace, prosperity, and progress in Mindanao––a precious legacy that will be cherished by generations of Filipinos, especially our Muslim brothers and sisters in Mindanao, for years to come,” he said.
The Palace, however, has denied that it will release a watered-down version of the BBL.
Presidential spokesperson Edwin Lacierda said they have yet to release the draft because they are still studying it.
Once approved by Congress, the BBL will be put through a plebiscite involving Mindanao provinces that want to be part of the new Bangsamoro political entity. (MNS)