Bangsamoro not a substate – Palace


Malacañang on Saturday rejected criticisms that the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) will create a state within a state that will threaten the sovereignty of the Philippines.

“We don’t agree with that opinion. We’ve gone through every detail of the draft of BBL. If you read the draft of BBL you will see the relationship of proposed entity to government, and the national government remains supreme … it’s very clear in the draft,” Palace deputy spokesman Abigail Valte said in a radio interview.

The Palace official was reacting to the claim of former University of the Philippines College of Law dean Merlin Magallona that the BBL may create a “sub-state” with “equal strength” to the national government.

Magallona claimed that there may be a splitting of powers, despite the 1987 Constitution’s provision that says powers shall reside under the national government.

The Bangsamoro bill seeks to establish an autonomous government in Mindanao and give the new entity wider political and fiscal autonomy.

The Bangsamoro region will get automatic appropriations from the national government similar to the internal revenue allotment given to local government units.. Under the bill, the Bangsamoro will get a four percent share in national internal revenue collections.

Sen. Miriam Defensor Santiago, a constitutional expert, has called the proposed law unconstitutional as it “attempts to redefine the sovereignty” of the Philippines.

“The Philippine Constitution provides for the powers of the state. The Constitution is supreme. The Agreement reserves to the central government the exercise of so-called ‘reserved powers,’ which are described as powers ‘retained by the central government.’ Thus, the Agreement diminishes the sovereignty of the Philippine government by listing what are the powers that the central government can retain,” Santiago earlier said.

This provision is only one of the many issues that lawmakers said defenders of the Bangsamoro bill need to clarify.

President Benigno Aquino 3rd earlier convened a peace council in the aftermath of the Mamasapano tragedy that sparked public outrage and eroded support for the BBL.

The BBL is a key factor in implementing the peace deal between the government and the MILF.

But aside from the political fallout over the measure, it also faces questions on constitutionality and inclusiveness, among others.

Valte acknowledged that there have been challenges but the government remains optimistic that the BBL bill will be passed.

“We have faced challenges in the past when it comes to the peace process and, you know, we remain optimistic that the discussion remains on the table and that it will be given attention by our legislators. So hopefully, Marie, the discussions will push forward on the BBL,” she said.


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  1. Let us watch with interest how the BBL will shape up in Congress…we want lasting peace in Mindanao…as I was saying before that it is much better for the President to face the Press and answer questions with regard to the signed BBL agreement.
    Valte, Lacierda, Coloma Jr will never be understood because I think they sound like Bunye of the Arroyo Adminitration !!!

  2. eltee mulawin on

    >>> Why the media people keep on asking or do interview this kind of person like Ms Valte, who every one knows will speak for her boss “shit project”?
    Whatever she or all those palace dogies are non-sense. They all HYPOCRITES AND COLLABURATORS.
    if the media people are fond of interviewing those dogies, so ask their answer to these:
    1) Why will allow those MILF rebels to fly their own flag, own police force, own comelec-alike, own commission on audit, own commander-in-chief which is not mentioned Philippine President?
    2) Why ONLY MILF AND did not consulted and not included the MNLF, SULTANATE OF SULU, ETC. BEFORE SIGNING THAT CAB-BBL?

  3. Who is Marie?

    REPLY: A very good and necessary question. sir Cocoy, since this news item used the words of Ms. Valte in the last paragraph addressed to a “Marie.” She is the reporter who asked the questions that Ms. Valte was trying to answer.

  4. Sharon Catlin on

    This report is the opposite of the truth. BBL will indeed set the stage for independent nation state status run by Islamic extreamists. There is no other possible outcome. Aquino lies to say otherwise. It is a shame that our president must state the opposite of truth for political expediency.

    • Why can’t the Armed Forces of the Philippines beat a few rag tag muslims who kidnap and kill Filipino people. Why not send the Philippine Air Force and bomb them all and the Philippine Navy to sink all their bancas and the whole Philippine Army to attack all their military bases and shoot them all. Then there will be peace when all these murderers are dead. These people don’t know legal justice, so fight them with their kind of war and eliminate them all in order to attain peace in Mindanao.