Sen. Escudero Says Bangsamoro Basic Law Needs Some Amendments

Sen. Escudero Says Bangsamoro Basic Law Needs Some Amendments

April 4, 2015

BAGUIO CITY – Senator Francisco “Chiz” Escudero is of the position that if the Basic Bangsamoro Law or BBL is transmitted to Senate as it is, it will not be approved as there are certain provisions that need to be amended in reference to the Philippine Constitution.

Escudero, in a press conference with the local media here on Saturday, pointed-out that under the BBL, the Shari’ah court’s decision will be final and executory, which means it cannot be reviewed by the Supreme Court. Moreover, the only body that can discipline the judges in their court is their own Judicial Bar Council.

“These are unconstitutional as the Supreme Court is the highest court in the country and there must only be one JBC under the Constitution”, Escudero said.

The senator also questioned the provisions that will give the Bangsamoro territories their own or independent Commission on Audit, Civil Service and Commission on Election.

“Why do they need a separate COA and CSC, do they have their own system of accounting and auditing, as well as their own rules on the security of tenure of civil servants”, he asked.

The 10 percent minimum voters’ requirement for a barangay or municipality to be placed under the Bangsamoro region is also an issue with Escudero.

“Why should the 10 percent of total registered voters be a majority ruling and dictate the out outcome for the other 90 percent voters in their area; why not bring it to at least half or even 25 percent for the vote to have a referendum”, he said.

The 10% majority threshold was adopted in the creation of the Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao. This should not be the case for the BBL because the other 90 percent also have the right to decide for their own future, he opined.

Escudero also called for an “opt-out clause” to be added in the BBL as under its present set-up, any area, municipality or province can be asked regularly or yearly if they want to join the BBL region but they cannot choose to get out, once they are already included./JDP/CCD – PIA CAR 


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