President Benigno Aquino 3rd sees the passage of the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) “inevitable,” and that it is just a matter of time before Congress approves the controversial measure.
“It is not my personal monument. I am sure it [the passage of the bill]will happen. When would this happen? I hope during my time, but it not, I think having this kind of a law would be inevitable,” the President told Filipino journalists in Italy Friday night.
“I am still confident that there is still a very strong push that can be made. Of course, we’d want it to happen sooner rather than later, but at the end of the day, I think the movement towards having the BBL in its present form or with little modification is just a question of time. It will happen,” he added.
The BBL bill is pending in Congress as the House of Representatives grapples with quorum problem.
Aquino pointed out that there is no deliberate effort to prevent the passage of the measure during his term.
“I don’t think it’s a deliberate move although some quarters were probably encouraging it. At the end of the day, next year we face elections. Even at the point that we were negotiating,” Aquino said.
“I did say that the earlier we craft this proposed measure, and farther away from both the budget and next year’s elections, the better the chances of passing it in a timely manner and in enabling the transition authority to demonstrate the difference of their governance,” he added.
The BBL seeks to create the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Mindanao.
Aquino said passing the BBL bill will likely prevent the growth of extremism in the country.
The President said that even an official in the Vatican City praised the country’s push for the BBL, as it is being seen as a driver for peace.
“I think it was the Secretary of State of the Vatican who was saying that we can serve as an example of how to reach out to our Muslim brothers and achieve peace, and especially in the spirit where extremism is such a threat worldwide, that example might be useful to others to build upon as a response to the radicalization that is happening,” Aquino said.