SENATORS crossed party lines to commend President Duterte for considering the swift passage of Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) saying it is long overdue and will help achieve peace and end terrorism in Mindanao.
Opposition Senator Benigno Bam Aquino lauded the President for what an unselfish act to end the age-old peace and order problem in Mindanao.
Aquino believes that the BBL can fight terrorism, rebellion, and crime through peace and development, education and jobs.
“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,” Aquino said.
The Bangsamoro Transition Commission (BTC) recently submitted to President Duterte a draft of the revised BBL. The President is expected to endorse it to the Senate and the House of Representatives.
“If prosperity for every Filipino is the goal, let’s pass the best possible version of the BBL,” he added.
Senate President Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel affirmed that the BBL will be a priority measure especially if the Chief Executive will certify it.
“I heard that it will be certified by the President. We will definitely prioritize this,” Pimentel said.
A lawmaker from Mindanao, Sen. Juan Miguel Zubiri, said he will definitely be at the forefront for the swift passage of BBL that will benefit our Muslim brothers and the whole of Mindanao.
“I am for peace. Ako ang unang-una na magsusulong sa batas ng Bangsamoro Basic Law,” Zubiri stressed.
Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process Jesus Dureza recently said the bill is urgent and they are expecting swift passage in Congress.
The President, he said, will review the draft BBL and give his inputs or he can immediately transmit the document without any revision to Congress for deliberation.
The new “inclusive” BBL proposal replaces the original draft proposed by the Aquino administration that failed to pass congressional scrutiny due to alleged unconstitutional provisions.
The new measure seeks to create a new autonomous entity called Bangsamoro with larger territory and powers replacing the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao. It will be the legal instrument that will implement the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro inked by the government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front.
Meantime, any proposed amendment from the camp of Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) chair Nur Misuari to the ARMM law will be presented separately to Congress.