PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte is set to receive this afternoon the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) from the Bangsamoro Transition Commission (BTC) in simple ceremonies in Malacanang Palace.
Joining the President in the special event at Malacanang’s Rizal Ceremonial hall are Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP) Secretary Jesus Dureza, Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) chairman Haj Ebrahim Murad and BTC chairman Ghazali Jaafar.
The law is aimed at bringing peace to Mindanao
BTC is composed of 21 members, with representatives from the MILF and Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF). The draft was finished on June 6, but the turnover has been delayed four times.
It aims to establish a new region for the Bangsamoro, a collective term for Filipino Muslims, to replace the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao.
Dureza said his office will encourage Duterte to certify the draft Bangsamoro Basic Law as urgent.
“We will recommend that it will be certified as an urgent bill. But as you know very well, the President makes the final call,” he said.
He said another recommendation is for Duterte to immediately turn over the draft to Senate President Koko Pimentel and House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez, but reiterated the President will decide.
Dureza earlier said he hopes Pimentel and Alvarez will be present during the turnover ceremony so the draft BBL can be immediately handed over to them.
“Ang plano yata niya and kasama din yun sa aming consensus, ite-turnover sa kanya ng BTC. But the President will not deal with it. He will turn it over immediately to Congress,” he said.
Duterte, the first President from Mindanao, promised during the 2016 presidential campaign to pass the BBL if he were elected.
Government implementing panel chair for the Bangsamoro Irene Santiago said that the BBL would address the root cause of extremism in Mindanao.
The BBL was first submitted to the Aquino administration in 2014, but its passage was stalled after the killing of 44 members of an elite unit of police by rebels belonging to the Moro Islamic Liberation Front and the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters in January 2015.
Despite succeeding attempts, the previous Congress failed to pass the law when it adjourned in February 2016.
Duterte is set to have a full day of work as he will be attending the mass oath taking of presidential appointees and officials of various organizations at Malacanang’s Heroes Hall.
The President is also expected to show up at the book launch of the “Make Change Work” slated at the defense department in Camp Aguinaldo, Quezon City where he will be received by former President Fidel V. Ramos.