PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte is expected to sign the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) before he delivers his third State of the Nation Address (Sona) on July 23, Malacañang said Wednesday, July 11.
"The passage of the BBL has been assured. [Duterte] wil sign the BBL before the Sona," Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque Jr. said in a statement.
This developed after Duterte met with members of the bicameral conference committee on the BBL at the Malacañan Palace on Wednesday afternoon.
In a bid to come up with an acceptable and final version of the proposed BBL, the congressional bicameral conference presented to Duterte the contentious provisions of the Bangsamoro territory and plebiscite.
Duterte on May 29 certified the draft BBL as urgent, prompting the Senate and the House of Representatives to approve their respective versions of the bill.
The proposed law seeks the installation of a new Bangsamoro political entity that wil replace the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) in an attempt to correct historical injustices suffered by the Moro people.
The bicameral panel deliberating on the differing versions of the proposed BBL, however, reached a stalemate over the inclusion of 39 villages in North Cotabato and six municipalities in Lanao del Norte to the Bangsamoro region, and the manner plebiscite will be conducted.
Roque said the President was able to persuade the bicameral panel to adopt the House version that would include a provision, allowing 39 villages in North Cotabato and six towns in Lanao del Norte to join the envisioned Bangsamoro region through a plebiscite.
"[I am] pleased to announce that the President facilitated the passage of the BBL by convincing the two houses of Congress to adopt the House version of the BBL," the Palae official said in a statement.
"[The draft BBL should provide] that the six municipalities of Lanao del Norte and the 39 villages of North Cotabato could vote to join the BBL territory in a referendum to be conducted on the mother territory of the areas involved," he said. (SunStar Philippines)