MALACAÑANG will submit the long-delayed draft of the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) to Congress before President Benigno Aquino 3rd leaves for his European trip on September 13.
Presidential Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. said in a radio interview on Sunday the draft measure, which Aquino is expected to certify as urgent, would be submitted to Congress after the government and Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) panels put the “final touches” to the basic law.
“By the estimate of the MILF panel and Bangsamoro Transition Commission Chairman Mohagher Iqbal, the draft bill is now 99.99 percent done,” according to Coloma, quoting a statement of Secretary Teresita Deles, the presidential adviser on the peace process.
“It [draft BBL]is expected to be submitted to Congress before the President leaves for Europe next week,” he said.
Deles had said the draft measure “was completed almost two weeks ago.”
“On the basis of the President’s comments, there were further discussion and exchange of notes between the MILF and the Office of the President, the results of which were also submitted to the President,” she added.
Deles said the draft bill would be submitted to Congress by the end of August.
This deadline lapsed but the document is still with the President’s office.
Before the bill was submitted by the Bangsamoro Transition Commission for the President’s final review, the crafting of the measure was stalled for weeks after his legal team supposedly made changes in the draft.
Iqbal even said his peace negotiators would “lose face” if they accepted the proposed law with the revisions made by the President’s lawyers.
President Aquino had given assurance that the draft law was acceptable to both the MILF and the government, and was ripe for Congress deliberations.
The Bangsamoro Basic Law will embody the comprehensive peace agreement signed last March by the MILF and the government.