BAGUIO CITY: While the draft Bangsamoro Basic Law(BBL) intends to establish the Bangsamoro political entity with the goal of bringing peace and development in Mindanao, it can also be beneficial to Cordillera’s pursuit of regional autonomy.
This was the position of representatives Nicasio Aliping Jr. of Baguio City and Teodoro Baguilat of Ifugao during the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP)- led BBL forum for Baguio media practitioners and bloggers at El Cielito Inn here on Friday.
Aliping said the BBL and Cordillera’s pursuit for regional autonomy are similar as both aim to push for progress and development in the area.
If the BBL is passed into law, some of its provisions can be adopted in the draft Cordillera autonomy bill or House Bill 4649 now pending in Congress, the lawmakers said adding the BBL can be a template to bring in provisions that will be beneficial to the Cordillera.
The Cordillera Region is on its third attempt of pursuing a Cordillera autonomous region. The creation of the autonomous region in Muslim Mindanao and in the Cordillera is provided for under the 1987 Constitution.
Baguilat, in the same forum, affirmed the support of Cordillera congressmen to BBL for the achievement of peace and progress in the Bangsamoro region. But he assured they will be actively participating in the discussions to ensure BBL will be for the good of the people and country.
He said there is no “railroading” of the BBL in the House of Representatives as it passes through intensive and comprehensive hearing, discussions and debates. At the end of the day, it will be the whole Congress that will decide on it.
Passing BBL within the term of President Benigno Aquino 3rd will be the best time to bring in peace and development in Mindanao because the president himself started the ceasefire with the MILF, Baguilat added.