By Genalyn Kabiling
The bill creating the new Bangsamoro region will be certified as urgent by President Duterte “anytime soon” to hasten the approval of the bill in Congress, Malacañang said Tuesday.
Presidential spokesman Harry Roque said the President’s urgent certification of the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) was part of an agreement reached during a recent meeting with Congress leaders in the Palace.
“The President promised to certify it (as urgent),” Roque said during a Palace press briefing.
“I cannot absolutely guarantee that the version of the House will be certified because I haven’t seen the text but if it is in conformity with what was agreed upon, then there should be no problem the President should certified it,” he added.
Roque added the President does not have to meet with Congress leaders to make another push for the proposed BBL. “Basta na certify as urgent na ‘yan peptide na mabalis ang pagpasa ng BBL [As soon as it is certified as urgent, it will expedite the passage of the BBL],” he said.
House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez earlier said he would ask the President to certify as urgent the proposed BBL, that will allow them to pass the bill on second, third and final reading on the same day.
The Lower House plans to approve the bill before Congress adjourns its second regular session sine die on June 1.
In his visit to Maguindanao last month, President Duterte said he might resign if the BBL would not be passed within the year. Duterte admitted that he would rather step down if he could not resolve the problem of Muslim insurgency in the south.
Duterte, who has been pushing for the bill to bring peace and development in Mindanao, noted that Congress leaders have promised to pass the BBL by May 30.