Passing BBL is not about politics, official says

BAGUIO CITY – – The Basic Law for the Bangsamoro region is not about politics but an answer to the long wait of the Bangsamoro people to their right to self-determination and peaceful living.

This was stressed by Atty. Armi Beatriz Bayot of the Office of Solicitor General and member of the legal team of the negotiating panel of the peace talk with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) during kapihan media forum here on Friday.

Bayot explained that the Bangsamoro people have been waiting for decades to properly exercise their right to self – determination. At the same time, the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) can open ways for progress and peaceful living in the region.

The passing of BBL will be a milestone as it will lead to the decommissioning of arms and combatants of the MILF and will end the militarized nature of Mindanao towards the attainment of peaceful living in the region that will lead to progress and development, Bayot added.

Regarding the presence of other armed groups in the region, she explained that under the normalization annex of the BBL, both the national government and the Bangsamoro will be committed to address peace and order concern through a joint security force.

She also clarified that after passing the law, there is still a long process which will include a plebiscite to determine what areas will compose the Bangsamoro region and for the formation of the Bangsamoro government.

Bayot expressed the government’s hope that both the House of Congress will find time to address the conflicting provisions and harmonize their respective version of the bill so they can pass the BBL Law within the administration of President Benigno Aquino III.

The BBL is still pending in Congress.

Baguio City Congressman Nicasio Aliping Jr., in the same forum, expressed his support for the passing of the Basic Law for the Bangsamoro Region.

“We owe it to the Bangsamoro people and I do not see any problem why both Houses of Congress cannot pass it within this administration. What the House of Representatives and Senate need is to have a bicameral session to synchronize each House’s version and address the conflicting provisions,” Aliping said.

He also stressed that if the BBL is passed, the Cordillera Administrative Region can adopt some of its provisions for the proposed bill for Cordillera autonomy.

The 1987 Philippine Constitution provides for the creation of autonomous region in Muslim Mindanao and Cordillera because of their unique historical and cultural heritage as well as the need for progress and development in some parts of both regions.

The kapihan media forum was part of the information campaign of the government to increase the awareness and understanding of every Filipino on what is the BBL and why it is important to be enacted into a law./JDP/CCD – PIA CAR


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