Finally, BBL draft will go to Congress

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DAVAO CITY: AFTER several revisions and a lengthy review, the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) that will create a new autonomous region in Mindanao will finally be submitted to Congress for approval on Wednesday.

President Benigno Aquino 3rd himself confirmed that the review of the draft bill was almost done and it should be ready for filing at the House of Representatives and the Senate.

Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process Secretary Teresita Deles said the proposed law only needs “cleaning up.”

Deles, who was with Aquino during the launch of the Mindanao Inclusive Agribusiness Program, said Senate President Franklin Drilon and Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr. will go to Malacañang to receive the draft law from Aquino.


“On Wednesday, there will be a turnover ceremony in Malacañang. The leaders of Congress will be going to Malacañang and the President has decided he will personally endorse the draft to them,” she said.

The BBL will embody the comprehensive peace agreement signed by the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) and the government, which aims to end the armed conflict in Mindanao.

In his speech, Aquino said the changing face of Mindanao is among the “greatest sources of pride” of Filipinos.

He said Mindanao, which has been plagued by poverty and underdevelopment, would reach its potential for growth with the looming peace.

“For a long while, a good part of Mindanao was left in the margins. Self-interest and transactionalism bred a vicious cycle of poverty, political patronage, and underdevelopment—this in turn fueled the discontent of our brothers in the Bangsamoro,” Aquino said.

“It is a region that, once was mired in strife, will soon realize its dreams of peace and prosperity, of innovation and advancement, of being a wellspring of opportunity for its people,” he added.

Once the draft BBL is passed into law, a plebiscite will be held in the areas that will constitute the Bangsamoro territory.

The government aims to put in place a Bangsamoro Transition Authority next year ahead of the 2016 elections.

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