Peace panel eyes BBL approval by May

admin   •   March 28, 2018   •   4182

FILE PHOTO: President Rodrigo Roa Duterte receives a draft of the newly proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) in a turnover ceremony at the Rizal Hall in Malacañan Palace on July 17, 2017. Joining the President are (from left) Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process Jesus Dureza, Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) Chairman Murad Ebrahim, Bangsamoro Transition Commission (BTC) Chair Ghazali Jaafar, and MILF Peace Implementing Panel Chair Mohagher Iqbal. KING RODRIGUEZ/PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines — The government peace panel and the Bangsamoro Transition Commission (BTC) are optimistic that the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) will be passed into law before the State of the Nation Address (SONA) of President Rodrigo Duterte in July.

According to the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP), they expect the Congress to approve the proposed bill in May.

This is amid fears of continuous delays on the passage of the BBL because of the impending impeachment trial in the Senate as well as the pushing of federalism in Congress.

“I am saying there’s a positive environment because the leadership committed that they will pass it,” said GPH implementing panel chair Usec. Nabil Tan.

“And with the push of the president and whole stakeholders I guess we have a very good chance God willing,” he added.

“The timeline of its passage is actually on or before sine die which is May 30, 2018,” said Amin party-list Rep. Amihilda Sangcopan.

According to BTC, they do not see any problem with the passage of the BBL as they have thoroughly studied every provision of the bill, particularly the provision of self-governance of the Bangsamoro adapting the parliamentary form of government.

“There is, in fact, no idea of a substate in the present BTC version,” said BTC Comm. Atty. Jose Lorena.

The BTC and OPAPP are still hopeful that Congress will consider the passage of the BBL which is believed to resolve historical injustices and armed conflict in the Mindanao Region. — Nel Maribojoc | UNTV News & Rescue

Duterte to march the streets to support the Bangsamoro Basic Law

Marje Pelayo   •   January 14, 2019

FILE PHOTO: Pangulong Rodrigo Duterte. | REY BANIQUET/PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines – Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana confirmed on Monday (January 14) that President Rodrigo Duterte plans to fly to Cotabato City to join a massive rally on January 18 in support of the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL).

The mass action will be held two days before the scheduled plebiscite for the BBL in areas of Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM); Isabela City-Basilan and in Cotabato City.

Lorenzana assured that President Duterte and the rest of his Cabinet as well as the Congress support the BBL.

“All out si Presidente. Sa January 18 pupunta (siya) sa Cotabato para sa big BOL rally. The day before dapat pupunta din siya sa Jolo pero dahil may importante siyang gagawin dito, hindi makapunta,” Lorenzana said during a meeting with leaders of the Bangsamoro communities outside the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region (BAR) on Sunday (January 13)

“Pero pupunta kami. Ako, si Sec. Ano, si Sec. Galvez, para kumbinsihin na namin si Sakur. Matigas ang ulo ni Sakur, pero we can convince him maybe para lumambot ang puso niya at tanggapin ang BOL,” the Defense Secretary said referring to Governor Abdusakur Tan II of Sulu who opposes the BOL.

Malacañang expressed confidence that with the presence of President Duterte himself, the public will be more convinced of supporting the passage of the BBL.

“The voice of the president is always a powerful influence on whatever matter he gives his voice into,” confirmed Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo.

Lorenzana, meanwhile, assured the public that the government is working very hard to ensure an honest, clean and peaceful elections in May.

Lorenaza and Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) vice chair and head of the Bangsamoro Transition Commission Ghadzali Jaafar called on all parties involved in the BOL especially the leaders of Muslim groups to be calm and pay respect to whatever the decision of the public will be regarding BBL.

“Hindi na pwede ang takutan dito. Tapos na ang pagiging rebolusyonaryo natin. Tapos na. Bibigyan na nga tayo ng chance to lead. Now it’s time to, itapon na natin ang uniporme natin. Magsuot na tayo ng barong o di kaya ng coat, and then start being a diplomat. Start being a statesman. Start thinking of how to improve our area,” Lorenzana said.

“Please do not do anything that will divide their favor because one of the major responsibilities of a leader, whether you’re like a revolutionary leader like me or political leader, your responsibility is,at all times, to unite your constituent and to unite your people,” appealed Jaafar.

“Leaders like us must never become agents of disunity of our people,” he emphasized further.

The plebiscite will be held on February 6 in Lanao del Norte and North Cotabato. – Marje Pelayo (with reports from Rosalie Coz)

Comelec approves 20 petitions to join plebiscite for landmark BOL ratification

admin   •   January 4, 2019

MANILA, Philippines — The Commission on Elections (Comelec) has approved the petition of 20 local government units (LGUs) to join plebiscite that will ratify the Bangsamoro Basic Law.

Comelec said that the LGUs have submitted the required documents.

Twenty-four (24) applications were not approved by the poll body due to insufficient documents and non-observance of guidelines for the plebiscite.

“Iyong una itatanong natin kung ratified ba itong BOL, kapag na-rectify iyan, ang epekto niyan magkakaroon ng Bangsamoro Autonomous Region and then second, elections sa February. Ang itatanong sang-ayon ba kayo na itong lugar na ito ay isasali sa Bagnsamoro Autonomous Region,” said Comelec Spokesperson Director James Jimenez.

The plebiscite for Bangsamoro Basic Law is set this month. — Aiko Miguel | UNTV News & Rescue

 

Bicam deletes anti-political dynasty provision in the proposed BBL

Marje Pelayo   •   July 10, 2018

QUEZON CITY, Philippines – The bicameral conference committee has deleted in the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) the provision that bans political dynasty in the proposed Bangsamoro Autonomous Region.

According to House Majority Floor Leader Rudy Farinas, the provision was removed because it violates the current Constitution.

“It was dropped by the Senate after we cited the flaws of the provision that violates the equal protection clause of the Constitution,” he said.

The Senate version of the bill states that “no Party Representative should be related within the second (2nd) civil degree of consanguinity or affinity to a District Representative or another Party Representative in the same Parliament.” This means that the anti-political dynasty provision applies only to party-list representatives.

Farinas said that though one senator argued that such similar prohibition is contained in the Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) Reform Act, he explained that “such law applies to all SKs in the whole country without distinction.”

“It does not violate the equal protection clause as it applies to all those belonging in the class so distinguished,” he added.

Farinas said there was no objection on the side of the Congressmen but they called the attention of the Senators on the “constitutional infirmity” of the provision. The Senators then decided to remove it.

The Bangsamoro Transition Committee (BTC) earlier noted the provision as “discriminatory” and “selective.”

The bicameral conference committee has created subcommittees to tackle controversial provisions of the BBL such as the government structure, public order, security and judicial system of the proposed Bangsamoro Autonomous Region.

Deliberations are expected to be tedious especially when it comes to the territorial provisions of the BBL as long debates on the inclusion of Lanao Del Norte and North Cotabato to the Bangsamoro territory are expected.

The bicameral conference committee targets to finish its deliberation on the proposed BBL on Wednesday (July 11). – Grace Casin / Marje Pelayo

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