Solons Say BBL can Help Cordillera’s Pursuit of Regional Autonomy
May 30, 2015
BAGUIO CITY – While the draft Bangsamoro Basic Law(BBL) intends to establish the Bangsamoro political entity with the goal of bringing peace and development in Mindanao, it can also be beneficial to Cordillera’s pursuit of regional autonomy.
This was the position of Baguio City congressman Nicasio Aliping Jr. and Ifugao Representative Teodoro Baguilat during the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP)- led BBL forum for Baguio media practitioners and bloggers at El Cielito Inn here on Friday.
Aliping said the BBL and Cordillera’s pursuit for regional autonomy are similar as both aim to push for progress and development in the area.
If the BBL is passed into law, some of its provisions can be adopted in the draft Cordillera autonomy bill or House Bill 4649 now pending in Congress, the lawmakers said adding that the BBL can be a template to bring in provisions that will be beneficial to Cordillera.
The Cordillera Region is on its third attempt of pursuing a Cordillera autonomous region. The creation of autonomous region in Muslim Mindanao and in the Cordillera is provided for under the 1987 Constitution.
Baguilat, in the same forum, affirmed the support of Cordillera congressmen to BBL for the achievement of peace and bringing in progress in the Bangsamoro region. But he assured that they will be actively participating in the discussions to ensure that BBL will be for the good of the people and country.
He said there is no “railroading” of the BBL in the House of Representatives as it passes through intensive and comprehensive hearing, discussions and debates. At the end of the day, it will be the whole Congress that will decide on it.
Passing BBL within the term of President Benigno Aquino III will be the best time to bring in peace and development in Mindanao because the president himself started the ceasefire with the MILF, Baguilat added.
In the said forum, OPAPP legal team member, Atty. Sittie Amirah Pendatun gave an orientation on the salient points of the BBL and answered questions on BBL issues and concerns.
On June 10, another OPAPP- led BBL forum is set at the Baguio Convention Center./JDP/CCD – PIA CAR