PROPONENTS of the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) have declared that they will not give up on the measure despite challenges it faces in Congress, hoping that it could be passed on January 27 or anytime before lawmakers go on their election break.
In a statement released on Friday by the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP), Al Julkipli, a member of the government panel’s legal team, said the government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) remain resolute in pursuing the Bangsamoro peace process.
“Even if we experience difficult challenges in pursuing the passage of the BBL, both parties… [will pursue]this peace process,” Julkipli said.
“No one is giving up. Both parties are still working toward achieving the objectives of the peace process, which is to pass a meaningful BBL that [will]address the two main problems [of keeping security and improving governance]in Mindanao,” he added.
Julkipli said they have resorted to aggressive lobbying with legislators to press for the approval of the bill.
“We are always ready to provide our support and technical assistance in defense of and in explaining the contents of the BBL in its original form,” he pointed out.
Cagayan de Oro City lawmaker and ad hoc committee on the BBL Chairman Rufus Rodriguez also on Friday said the House had set the voting on the bill on January 27.
“We have set the voting on Wednesday. As long as we have a quorum, the voting will push through,” Rodriguez said.
During a multisectoral meeting in the provincial capitol of Lanao del Sur in Marawi City also on Friday, Julkipli maintained that the BBL could still be passed by Congress despite limited time remaining before it adjourns for the election campaign.
“We continue to trust the wisdom of Congress in passing the BBL into law before it adjourns,” he said.
“We also continue to urge everybody to continue supporting the peace process, to not give up, to lobby with our congressmen in support of the BBL. We have to be able to make our voices be heard directly from the people,” Julkipli added.
He said regardless of what happens to the BBL, “[w]e should remain calm. We should approach this in the most active and most passionate way, in the most peaceful way that we can.”