SENATOR Leila de Lima backed President Duterte’s call for the immediate passage of the Bangsamoro
Basic Law (BBL) which she said “will bring meaningful changes for our Muslim brothers.”
President Duterte reportedly warned Congress on the consequence of not passing the BBL as he
urged Congress to expedite the passage of the proposed law that was drafted by the 21-member
Bangsamoro Transition Commission (BTC) emphasizing the great importance of attaining peace among the
Moros in Mindanao.
De Lima, known as a critic of the president, said the draft BBL of President Duterte
represents a huge and monumental first step at addressing the long-standing aspirations of Muslim
Filipinos for autonomy.
According to De Lima, it has been the long aspiration of the Moros to have a genuine autonomy
and meaningful self-governance and this move of the present government will bring fulfillment of their
“Time is indeed running out. I don’t see any other option, except chaos and more sufferings
for the people, Moros and Christians alike, in the region. “
“We cannot afford to miss this yet another big shot at peace and stability in the region. The
urgency in actualizing the proposed changes in the governmental, political, fiscal and justice
structures for the Bangsamoro people, to supplant the discarded, deficient ARMM set-up, is most felt
now, hence, imperative, given the lingering and worsening threats of terrorism and extremism in the
area,” De Lima said.
According to reports, no less than President Duterte assured that he would fulfill his
commitments to the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) and Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) as
he vowed to work for a transition from a unitary to a federal form of government.
Former Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process Secretary Ging Deles reportedly said the
version of the draft BBL bears no radical departure from the original 2014 version.
“In my view, only some tweaking or fine-tuning of a few provisions is needed so as to hurdle
any constitutional challenge to this special piece of legislative measure,” De Lima suggested as she
expressed belief that the BBL will help put a stop to violent extremism and pave the way for lasting