Aquino misses deadline, fails to submit BBL to Congress

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President Benigno Aquino 3rd is yet to submit to Congress the draft bill for the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL), after failing to meet his administration’s self-imposed August deadline.

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On Sunday, Presidential Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. confirmed that the draft BBL is not ready to be submitted to the legislature, saying the President is still poring over the measure.

“He [Aquino] is still reviewing the draft BBL, with assistance of OP [Office of the President] legal staff,” Coloma said in a text message to The Manila Times.

Last week, Malacanang committed to submit the draft law to Congress by the end of August as earlier scheduled by the peace panels of the government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF). The two panels submitted the draft law to Aquino on August 20 for review.

“As stated by him in [the]Bombo [Radyo] interview, it is imperative that the BBL is enacted to enable the transition process to materialize with sufficient preparation for election in 2016 of those who will serve as officials of the Bangsamoro political entity.” Coloma said.

The submission of the BBL draft was delayed because of the review of provisions needing to be harmonized. Officials  said there is a need to ensure that the draft bill will pass the scrutiny of Congress and other stakeholders.

Once the draft is approved by Congress, a plebiscite will be held and a transition authority will be created. An election in the Bangsamoro will be held in 2016 so that its people could choose their leaders.

The proposed law is the enabling measure needed to replace the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao with a new Bangsamoro self-governing entity.

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