Saturday , May 26, 2018

Palace expects BBL passage by yearend

MALACAÑANG on Tuesday said it is hoping that Congress would approve the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) before the end of 2017.

"I think a good progress can be had before the year ends," Presidential Legislative Liaison Office Secretary Adelino Sitoy told reporters when asked if Palace is optimistic that the revised BBL would hurdle Congress within this year.

"Before the year ends, we hope to have the bill already on second or third reading," he added.

Sitoy's remark came amid the plan of the House of Representatives to file the BBL version drafted by Bangsamoro Transition Committee (BTC).

This developed after President Rodrigo Duterte, during the third Legislative-Executive Development Advisory Council meeting held on September 20, agreed to certify draft Moro law as urgent.

Sitoy said House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez will sponsor the proposed BBL at the House of Representatives.

"We already submitted to Congress – the House and the Senate – a draft bill for their consideration. I think the House will be ahead of filing a copy of that bill so that it can be referred to its pertinent committee. I think it's the Speaker (Alvarez) who will be filing the bill himself," he said.

The Moro of Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) earlier expressed apprehension that no lawmaker will sponsor the BTC's proposed Moro law.

The MILF had lamented the supposed government's "noncompliance" with the signed peace pacts as they observed that no action was made on the part of the Senate and the House of Representatives regarding the deliberations of the Bangsamoro measure.

On July 17, the 21-man BTC turned over its "better version" of BBL to President Rodrigo Duterte.

The draft law, which will serve as an enabling law of the Comprehensive Agreement on Bangsamoro signed between Aquino government and MILF in 2014, will create a Bangsamoro entity that would replace the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao.

The first proposed measure for Bangsamoro people was stalled during the 16th Congress following the disagreeing provisions between the Senate and the House of Representatives.

The BTC made an assurance that the new BBL version would establish a "just, dignified and lasting peace." (SunStar Philippines)