Malacañang is not opposed to proposals to introduce amendments to the draft Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL).
Presidential Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. on Tuesday said the Palace respects whatever changes will be introduced to the measure as it expressed hopes that the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) may also approve of these changes.
“Patuloy na nakikipag-ugnayan ang sangay ng ehekutibo sa ating lehislatura tungo sa pagtahak ng daan na hahantong sa pangmatagalang kapayapaan sa harap ng mga usapin at hamon na bunsod ng mga kasalukuyang mga kaganapan [The executive and the legislative are treading the path toward lasting peace amid issues and challenges resulting from what is happening around us],” Coloma told a news briefing.
“Kinikilala namin ‘yung karapatan at tungkulin ng ating mga mambabatas na suriing maigi ang mga probisyon ng Bangsamoro Basic Law dahil kinakailangang tiyakin na ito ay naaayon sa ating Saligang Batas at sa aming nakikita at ginagawa naman nila ‘yung kanilang tungkulin [We recognize the right and the job of our lawmakers to scrutinize provisions of the Bangsamoro Basic Law because it has to be ensured that the provisions are in accordance with the Constitution and as we can see they are doing their job,” he said.
Sen. Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr., chairman of the Senate Committee on Local Government, also on Tuesday claimed that serious questions have put the BBL on the spot.
He said the timeline for its passage may be affected and that he will not support a measure that will not stand scrutiny.
Coloma noted that public outrage after the killing of 44 police commandos in Mamasapano, Maguindanao, plays a significant role in the crafting of the BBL.
What is important, he pointed out, is the principle that the BBL is key to lasting peace in Mindanao, home to the country’s Muslim minority.
Most lawmakers withdrew their support to the BBl after the Mamasapano incident and even the author of the measure at the House of Representatives, Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr., admitted that it is difficult to get backing for the measure at this time.
Belmonte said it will be hard to shepherd the Bangsamoro bill because of the involvement of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) in the killing of the 44 elite police officers.
The House has suspended BBl hearings.
“I’m not very hopeful. I’m still for it . . . but not as enthusiastic as before as we await the developments,” Belmonte told reporters.
“Let’s be really candid about it. At the moment, it’s no use [to talk of timetable]. This is not a good time to bring it out there. It’s not the best time to hold a vote on it. I cannot be sure of the numbers,” he said.