MANILA — The chairman of the House Ad Hoc committee dealing with the passage of Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) said over the weekend that he will never compromise on the issue of constitutionality of all the provisions embodied in the proposed Basic law.
“We will make sure that it will be a win-win framework for all Filipinos,” Cagayan de Oro City Rep. Rufus Rodriguez, chairman of the panel assured the public in their series of consultation in Mindanao.
He said the passage of BBL is their fundamental role as legislators, recognizing and responding to the call of our diverse culture as Filipinos. It is also our contribution to a global quest for genuine and sustainable peace.
“We are tired of war. We cannot afford to lose time. We want peace,” Rodriguez said, echoing the sentiments of lawmakers especially those from Mindanao.
Gratified by the enthusiasm shown by his colleagues during the open public hearings, which started Sept. 24 and will last until Dec. 17, the committee wanted to hear the sentiments of affected areas in Mindanao. The committee is conducting hearings five days a week in Zamboanga, Zamboanga Sibugay, Basilan, Sulu, Tawi-Tawi and Marawi, among others.
“We have decided to give one day for each of these areas to give ample time for concerned people in the said areas to participate actively in the deliberations,” Rodriguez said.
The 75-member Ad Hoc Committee represents leaders and members of the majority coalition and five members of the minority group.
During the interim, the committee completed the line-up of resource person-invitees or guest who could give valuable insights and proposal to improve or fine-tune the provision in the proposed BBL contained in HB 4994.
HB 4994 is entitled: “An Act providing for the Basic Law for the Bangsamoro and abolishing the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, repealing for the purpose Republic Act No. 9054, entitled ‘An Act to strengthen and expand the Organic Act for the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, and Republic Act No. 6743, entitled ‘An Act providing for the Organic Act for the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao,’ and for other purposes.”
The authors of the proposed law consists of the leaders of the Majority coalition, led by Speaker Belmonte, among them are: Deputy Speakers Henedina Abad, Giorgidi Aggabao, Sergio Apostol, Pangalian Balindong, Carlos Padilla and Roberto Puno; with Majority Leader Neptali Gonzales II; and Reps. Mel Senen Sarmiento; Enrique Cojuangco; Mark Llandro Mendoza; Eleandro Jesus Madrona; Elpidio Barzaga, Jr.; Antonio Lagdameo, Jr.; Rolando Andaya, Jr.; Nicanor Briones; and Raymond Democrito Mendoza.
Recalling recent events, the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro (CAB), signed on March 27, 2014, signaled the end of the decades-long armed conflict in Mindanao that has posed major setbacks to the full progress and development of the country, Belmonte and his co-authors said.
“The negotiated CAB outlines the mechanisms, processes, and modalities through which the parties aim to establish and entrench a regime of peace, development, social justice, and the rule of law in the conflict-ridden areas and communities in Southern Philippines,” the authors said.
Furthermore, inspired by the constitutional foundation on autonomous regions under the 1987 Constitution, the CAB prescribes the design for a new political entity to build upon the vital reforms introduced by the current government of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM).
“The proposed Bangsamoro entity will enhance existing systems and procedures, as well as establish a new set of institutional arrangements and modalities between the central government and the autonomous government with respect to power-sharing, wealth- and revenue-sharing, transitional aspects, and normalization,” Speaker Belmonte said.