MANILA — A senator on Monday urged the Congress to prioritize the fine tuning of the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) noting that it was long overdue.
“The BBL is long overdue. We should be prioritizing the fine tuning of the law, adopting what we’ve already learned from all the consultations, hearings, and 17 years of negotiations,” Sen. Paolo Benigno Aquino IV said in a statement.
Aquino made this remark as the Bangsamoro Transition Commission (BTC) is expected to submit to Pres. Rodrigo Duterte a draft of the revised BBL on Monday.
The President is expected to endorse it to the Senate and the House of Representatives.
Aquino believes that the passage of the BBL would help achieve peace and end terrorism in Mindanao. Moreover, he said that it could help fight terrorism, rebellion and crime through peace and development, education and jobs.
“If prosperity for every Filipino is the goal, let’s pass the best possible version of the BBL,” he added.
On February, the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP) announced that members of the expanded BTC that will draft an “inclusive” version of the earlier BBL that failed to pass Congress in the previous Aquino administration.
The draft of the new enabling law to Congress will be submitted in time for Pres. Duterte’s second State of the Nation Address (SONA) and the resumption of session of Congress.
Enactment of the BBL will create a new political entity that will replace the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM).
The proposed Bangsamoro territory will have greater autonomy than the present ARMM but will remain part of the Republic of the Philippines. (Azer N. Parrocha/PNA)