House ready for Cha-Cha if PH-MILF pact demands it

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The House of Representatives will be ready to amend the 1987 Constitution if the Framework Peace Agreement between the government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) calls for it, a House leader said Monday.

House Majority Leader Neptali Gonzales 2nd of Mandaluyong made the disclosure on Monday, two days after the government and the MILF inked the normalization pact which is the last annex of the Framework Peace Agreement between the two parties.

With the signing of the final annex of the peace pact, the Bangsamoro Basic Law will be drafted and eventually be subjected to Congress’ approval.

“We don’t know yet if the Bangsamoro Basic Law [that will come out of this]will require constitutional amendments. We hope that it doesn’t so we can pass the law sooner. Otherwise, we will have to do it [Charter Change] if that is what is demanded by the Final Peace Agreement,” Gonzales told reporters.


Once the Bangsamoro Basic Law is submitted to Congress, a Congressional panel will tackle the measure en route to its approval for plenary debates, provided that the proposed Bangsamoro Basic law measure won’t require Constitutional amendments.

“We have to be sure that the law will be reflective of the peace agreement…if it needs constitutional amendments. It’s possible that the [provisions on]power sharing and territory could require Constitutional amendments, but we can’t know for sure at this point,” Gonzales pointed out.

“If the peace framework calls for Constitutional amendments, then we have to give it. Otherwise, it’s like we are fooling each other here. We can’t say that oh, since this requires amending the Constitution, we can’t do this anymore. We have an obligation to provide a peaceful solution to Mindanao . If it requires amending the Constitution, then so be it,” Gonzales added.

Gonzales then vowed that Congress will prioritize the passage of the Bangsamoro Basic Law, and that Congress is willing to hold extra Committee hearings to speed up the passage of the Bangsamoro Basic Law.

“Even if we are on break, our Committees can convene,” Gonzales said in closing. LLANESCA T. PANTI

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