President Rodrigo Duterte is not considering to certify as urgent the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) as Congress has all the time to pass it into law.
“No. We have all the time. It [draft BBL]will not be [certified as]urgent,” Duterte told reporters during a chance interview in Cagayan de Oro on Tuesday night.
The President said he would review the draft BBL and would be ready to sign it if he saw no problem in the provisions of the measure.
“I am waiting for the document because I have to review it. And I have to point out to them that the provisions that have to wait for an amendment in the Constitution and those who are doable now,” Duterte said.
“And if I find things in order, I will sign it. And wait for the document, the formal one and I’ll send it to Congress,” he added.
In early June, the 21-member Bangsamoro Transition Commission approved the final draft BBL, which will serve as the legal foundation of the future Bangsamoro government in Mindanao.
The BBL was first submitted to the Aquino administration in 2014. It was the result of the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro—a peace deal signed by government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF).
The proposal failed to pass the 16th Congress when it adjourned in February 2016, leaving the peace panel to tweak provisions to the law and repeat the legislative process.
Irene Santiago, chair of the government’s implementing panel for Bangsamoro peace accords, recently said the new BBL would be submitted to the Office of the President in mid-June for review, then to Congress when the legislature resumes its regular session on July 24.
“We are hoping and planning that the President will mention it [BBL] in the SONA [State of the Nation Address] and say that, ‘This is priority bill for me,'” Santiago said.