By Genalyn Kabiling
Almost a month after getting the new draft from the Bangsamoro Transition Commission, Malacañang is set to transmit the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) to Congress this week.
Presidential spokesman Ernesto Abella said they will let Congress act on the draft BBL as well as consolidate the measure proposed by former President and now Pampanga Rep. Gloria Arroyo.
The BBL aims to establish a new political entity for the Bangsamoro people that will replace the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao. President Duterte earlier promised to certify as urgent the proposed BBL law in pursuit of peace in the south, saying he would pose no objections to provisions consistent with the Constitution.
“The Presidential Legislative Liaison Office will officially transmit the draft Bangsamoro Basic Law to Congress this week,” Abella said during a Palace press briefing.
“We leave it to Congress to act on the matter with dispatch, including consolidating the Palace version with House Bill 6121 filed by Representative Gloria Arroyo,” he said.
“She has certain positions regarding the matter. It would be up to Congress to consolidate that which is pertinent to the BBL,” he said.
The former leader earlier filed a new version of the BBL which she claimed “truly reflects the aspirations” of Filipino Muslims. The measure aims to create the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region that will be governed by a Bangsamoro Regional government using a parliamentary system of governance.
Under Arroyo’s bill, the BRG will be given autonomy in the pursuit of economic, social and cultural development but will adhere to all international treaties and agreements binding upon the national government.
During the ceremonial turnover of the draft BBL last month, the President promised to support the measure as long as it is faithful to the Constitution.
He said the draft bill shows the government’s resolve to “set aside our differences and stand united to achieve a common goal of peace.”
“This moment is a significant step forward in our quest to end centuries of hatred, mistrust and injustice that caused and affected the lives of millions of Filipinos,” he said.