IF THERE is one major difference between the past proposals for a Bangsamoro law and the one submitted by the Bangsamoro Transition Commission (BTC) on Monday, July 17, to President Rodrigo Duterte in Malacañan, that is the president's commitment to push for such a law and his high trust rating.
"With the trust rating of PRRD (President Rodrigo R. Duterte), I believe the (proposed) Bangsamoro Basic Law this time will be more acceptable to all of us," said BTC Commissioner Mussolini Sinsuat Lidasan, who was among those who crafted the proposed law.
Beyond just the President's high trust rating, however, is that the new BBL addresses the mistakes of the past.
"The new BBL for me is more acceptable to the nation because the crafters of the BBL, expanded membership, ensured that the BBL will be compliant to the CAB (Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro), FAB (Framework Agreement on the Bangsamoro), and the 1987 constitution," Lidasan added.
"Our president also made mentioned that the BBL aims to address historical injustice."
The proposed BBL is a 114-page document that will virtually replace the Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao (Armm) and set up an autonomous region that pushes for development more than anything else.
"The new BBL included the concerns of the MNLF (Moro National Liberation Front) on strategic minerals, defines the opt in and opt out provisions for defining the areas of the Bangsamoro, and the inclusive membership of the Bangsamoro Transition Government," Lidasan said.
By inclusive membership, he said, the law once passed will have an 81-member commission up from 50, and will include more representatives from the MNLF, from 15 to 21.
Still, they expect there will be opposition as there always is, and the most likely to be opposed is the Bangsamoro Police, Lidasan said.
The Bangsamoro Police will be separate from the Philippine National Police and will be under the Chief Minister of the Bangsamoro Government.
The Central Government, however, still has reserved powers under the proposed law covering: Defense and external security, Foreign policy, Coinage and Monetary Policy, Postal service, Citizenship and naturalization, Immigration, Customs and tariff as qualified by Section 2, Article V of this Basic Law, Common market and global trade, provided that the power to enter into economic agreements given to the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao under Republic Act 9054 is hereby transferred to the Bangsamoro Government as provided in Article XII, Section 27 of this Basic Law, and Intellectual property rights. Aside from these, the Bangsamoro Government is given self-governance to pursue political, economic, social, and cultural development.
Published in the SunStar Davao newspaper on July 19, 2017.
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