Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process Teresita Quintos Deles Tuesday said that the timeline for the drafting of the Bangsamoro Basic Law remains on track, assuring that it will be submitted to Congress within the month of August.
“After the meeting of Parties ended last Friday, it was understood that there will be a need to incorporate all agreements reached into the final draft as well as fine-tune the entire draft to ensure that all articles will be consistent with each other,” Deles said.
“The draft is expected to be submitted to the President within the week and to Congress within the month,” she added.
Last Friday, Executive Secretary Paquito N. Ochoa Jr. and Bangsamoro Transition Commission chair Mohagher Iqbal issued a joint statement which states that they “have concluded discussions on the various issues” on the draft Bangsamoro Basic Law.
Iqbal’s meeting with Ochoa came after a series of meetings of the peace panels of the Government of the Philippines (GPH) and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) to resolve sticky issues on the draft BBL before it is submitted to Congress. On August 10, the peace panels issued a joint statement, which “reiterated their commitment to finish an agreed draft Bangsamoro Basic Law by August 18, 2014.”
With the latest joint statement issued by Ochoa and Iqbal on August 15, Deles said that it was clear for both Parties that the “draft will not be submitted (to the President) today.”
“It was clear at the end of this round of talks that a few more days were needed to review the draft and ensure that all the agreements/clarifications are properly incorporated and the whole draft is fine-tuned to ensure consistency within and across the different articles,” she added.
Earlier, Deles stated that the “passage of the BBL remains on top of the President’s legislative agenda” and “the leadership of both houses of Congress have indicated that they are prepared to work overtime to ensure the timely passage of the law.” PNA