Rep. Rodolfo Albano 3rd said the passage of the Basic Bangsamoro Law (BBL) may prompt indigenous groups in the Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR) and other areas to demand autonomy.
Albano disclosed that leaders of indigenous tribes and civil society groups in CAR are closely watching Congress to see how it will handle the BBL measure.
“I have received reports that the Cordillera Administrative Region is seriously studying the legality of asking full autonomy from the central government once the BBL is passed,” Albano said in a statement issued on Sunday.
The BBL aims to create a Bangsamoro region that will replace the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM).
Albano said passage of the Bangsamoro bill will set a precedent for regions such as CAR, a counterpart administrative region of ARMM, to demand the same autonomy.
CAR is composed of six provinces—Abra, Apayao, Benguet, Ifugao, Kalinga and Mountain Province, and the regional center which is Baguio.
The lawmaker urged his colleagues to carefully study the BBL measure to ensure that it is within the bounds of the Constitution.
“I am confident that my colleagues in Congress will not allow the so-called problematic provisions in the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law to get through without being subjected to through scrutiny and tedious debates. We should not be parties to another failed political experiment,” he said.
He urged Congress to invite constitutional experts as resource persons so that senators and congressmen will better understand the BBL’s contentious provisions.