‘Don’t water down BBL, please’


MALACAñANG on Sunday appealed to lawmakers to avoid passing a “watered down” version of the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL), saying while amendments may be made, they should not dampen the spirit of the proposed law.

“We respect the processes in Congress… the legislature. The President’s call is for them to keep the gist and substance of the draft BBL and not to pass a watered-down version,” Presidential Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. said on Sunday.

In an interview over state-run Radyo ng Bayan, Coloma noted that  President Benigno Aquino 3rd and his administration recognize the right of lawmakers to make changes as they see fit, if only to make the measure to be more constitutionally sound.

“They can push for amendments if those would make the law better… It’s their duty,” said the Palace official.

The Senate is scheduled to resume hearings on the BBL this week, more than three months since the proceedings were suspended as a result of the deadly Mamasapano clash in January where 44 elite police commandos were slaughtered by Muslim separatist rebels in Maguindanao province.

With the resumption of the hearings, Coloma said, Aquino expects passage of the BBL bill by next month.

“We are hoping. The government led by the President is hoping that both chambers of Congress will approve the draft [BBL] because this will be the key to ensuring lasting peace [in Mindanao], paving the way for more benefits and sustainable development,” he pointed out.

Coloma said Aquino’s expectations are “high” that the legislature will heed the request and acknowledge “emerging public sentiment” in favor of the measure.

“The National Peace Council met with the Ad Hoc Committee on the Bangsamoro in the House of Representatives last week where they all agreed that the BBL will foster economic development and social justice in the whole of Mindanao,” he added.


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  1. Sharon Catlin on

    It is sad to see so many who are willing to risk the lives of millions of people in Mindanao for the sake of their misguided delusions of peace under Islamic terrorists. I suspect that most of those are willing to give up Mindanao under the hope of peace, do not live there. Who does not want to respond to the sirens call of “Peace in Our Time?” But remember history, and what the result of such delusional hope lead to last time. (Ghosts of Chamberlain hoping for peace with Hitler)

  2. We the silent majority of Filipinos support the BBL. BBL will pass the test of constitutionality. Families in Muslim Mindanao pin their hopes on it for a different future for their children.

    Are you more knowledgeable of the Philippine Constitution than Miriam Defensor Santiago, Fr Bernas and dozens of other men and women lawyers who see the consitutional informities of the BBL written by the MILF and only slghtly changed by de facto president Aquino? Or are you an MILF-Malaysia-Malacanang hired propagandist?

  3. Charlie Lopez on

    “BBL will foster economic development and social justice in the whole of Mindanao”

    I agree. Not only for development and social justice but BBL aimed to control strife and violence in the region, for the future of the Filipino Muslims and Christians living there. An all out peace for everyone.

  4. Krissy Cingco on

    Dont water it down. It will pass the test of Constutionality. Leave it up to the SC. besides several surviving 1987 Constitutional delegates support it! Plus there will be a plebisicite on it . Give it to the people.

  5. Time and time again we never waiver on peace;but peace which is equitable and good for everybody. Let us focus ourselves on the BBL issue. Hope for the best and
    brace for the worst… The BBL should respect our constitution as every provision of the BBL is treaded by Congress.
    President B Aquino should explain to the Nation on his daily or weekly press conference some contentious provision of the BBL so the people can understand
    what is at stake. Leaving the issue among his press people will keep us doubting
    the intent of this contentious provisions of the BBL.On one flag,army ,and constitutional commission.That include also the judiciary injecting Muslim Law among
    the BBL provision.

  6. The BBL in its current version is the fruit indeed of 17 years of peacemaking effort with a breakthrough in the last three years as the reformist leadership of the MILF chose peace. As a result peace has been enjoyed and social development projects have rolled into the ARMM. The BBL hopes to make this permanent. The CAB was in fact widely celebrated by the people there when it was signed. and once n their life, Muslim Filipinos were able to imagine a different future for their children. as again the BBL wants to make that a reality. The wide clamor for peace is real. a silent majority versus a noisy minority. In the BBL, Muslim Filipinos pin their hopes and their one big shot at uplifting their quality of life. remember that this war torn and neglected region has the lowest HDI (human devt index) in the Philippines.

  7. Crisostomo Ibarra on

    Coloma said Aquino’s expectations are “high” that the legislature will heed the request and acknowledge “emerging public sentiment” in favor of the measure.

    How did they arrive to this conclusion?

  8. vagoneto rieles on

    Most Filipinos understand the issues surrounding the BBL and see it as a pointless and dangerous experiment. It appears to be, (and perhaps it is), a poorly masked devise to cover an outright ‘give-away’ to the Philippine Muslim to embellish the resumes of the President, Ms. Quintos-Deles and Ms. Coronel-Ferrer.. as ‘peacemakers’. The issue that is unclear.. one that needs to be addressed.. is that of accountability. President Aquino is indisputably the father and prime-mover of the proposed law; Mesdames Quintos-Deles and Coronel-Ferrer, who acted as the midwives in its birthing.. the active accomplices; and, the party-mates in the Senate and the Congress who favor the law’s passage were its abettors and co-conspiritores. What responsibilities do they carry; and what sanctions are they heir to for this blatant betrayal? These individuals must not be allowed to go ‘scot-free’.. and on their merry way, when the Philippines and the Filipino ends up suffering the consequences of the BBL.

  9. The house-bill baBALA needs a complete re-write. The Ferrer-Deles-Iqbal version has too many weaknesses (most likely because the house-bill baBALA only has the MILF viewpoint)