The Bangsamoro Basic Law—which would establish a Bangsamoro Region—should be submitted to Congress by March because it is deemed the top priority legislation of the House of Representatives, Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr. said.
Belmonte, who represents the Fourth District of Quezon City, was referring to the Bangsamoro Basic Law, an offshoot of the Framework Peace Agreement signed between the Philippines and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), ending the latter’s 40-year armed struggle.
The Framework Peace Agreement between the government and the MILF provides annexes on power sharing, wealth sharing, normalization or decommissioning of the MILF combatants and transitional modalities which tasks the Transition Commission to draft the Bangsamoro Basic Law subject to Congressional approval.
“The Bangsamoro Basic Law is very important because time is not all that long. We are encouraging the people who are drafting it to draft it as quickly as possible so we can act on it within the year if possible. We should be receiving it by the latter part of March,” Belmonte told reporters.
“That [timeframe]should give them roughly two months or less so that by around May, we can approve it because we’ll be terminating our session by June. We have to get our act together,” Belmonte added.
The First Regular Session of Congress will adjourn on June 13 and will reopen when President Benigno Aquino 3rd delivers his fifth State of the Nation Address on the third Monday of July.
The members of the Transition Commission in charge of the drafting of the Bangsamoro Basic Law include: Transition Commission Chairman Mohagher Iqbal which also chairs the MILF negotiating panel, Commissioners Robert Alonto, Ibrahim Ali, Talib Bento, Abdullah Camlian, Pedrito Eisma, Raissa Jaurie, Froilyn Mendoza, Hussein Muñoz, Commissioner Akmad Sakkam, Commissioner Fatwati Salapuddin, Commissioner Said Shiek, Commissioner Asani Tammag, Timuay Melanio Ulama and Johaira Wahab. Lanesca T. Panti