The government is not reneging on its promise to have the draft Bangsamoro Basic Law passed before the end of the year, Malacañang said yesterday amid reports that Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) commanders were getting restive because of the delay.
“We would like to assure the commitment of the government with respect to pushing for the Bangsamoro Basic Law. The government and the MILF panels are, again, going to discuss the final draft to be submitted (to) Congress. So we are still committed insofar as coming up with, as the President says, a just and fair Bangsamoro Basic Bill (BBL) for Congress to look into and discuss,” presidential spokesman Edwin Lacierda said.
Lacierda said the BBL was still a priority measure and hopefully, before the end of this year, the Bangsamoro Transition Authority would be in place in order for the Bangsamoro Juridical Entity to participate in the synchronized national elections in 2016.
“So the commitment is there… We believe that we can continue with the timeframe that we have envisioned so that all the necessary building blocks for an effective and a truly representative bill and law will be passed by Congress,” Lacierda said.
Lacierda expressed confidence the MILF leaders would inform their people on the ground to avoid any hostilities because of the delay in the submission of the BBL.
“You saw, for instance, the commitment of our President during the signing of the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro. That commitment has not wavered. All we want to be sure of is that the bill that will be submitted to Congress will be acceptable to all – both from government and also the Bangsamoro people,” he said.
Lacierda said the MILF members in the Bangsamoro Transition Commission drafting the BBL outnumbered the government representatives.
“But that’s a collective work that was done by them…and this is part of the process. The timeline that was agreed upon is Bangsamoro Transition Commission will craft the Bangsamoro Basic Law and they will submit it to the Office of the President for review. We are now in this process,” Lacierda said.
Written by: Aurea Calica