• Palace: Aquino to submit Bangsamoro law to Congress next month

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    The proposed law that will create the Bangsamoro entity is expected to be in Congress by May, a Malacanang official said.

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    Speaking to reporters, Palace spokesman Edwin Lacierda said that President Benigno Aquino 3rd intends to submit the proposed Bangsamoro Basic law to Congress next month.

    Currently, he said that the draft of the Bangsamoro Basic Law is still being crafted under the Bangsamoro Transition Commission (BTC).

    “The timeline is really to submit it as early as possible. We are hoping that we will be able to finalize the review process in time for filing sometime in May,” Lacierda said

    He noted that the BTC will next forward the draft to the Office of the President (OP) for further review.

    “Once it is okayed by the OP, we will submit it to the Congress…The President will certify it as urgent…hopefully by the end of this year, we will have the Bangsamoro Basic Law enacted,” he added

    Legislators are currently at recess for Holy Week and scheduled to report back on May 5, 2014.

    When asked if he expects the law to have “smooth sailing” in the Congress, Lacierda said Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process Secretary Teresita Deles has “already made the rounds with the House and the Senate and briefing them on the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro.”
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    “We certainly would hope that the House and the Senate realize how important and how vital this particular peace agreement is to the development in Mindanao…,” he said

    “If there would be some issues raised, I think the Executive branch will be there to help our fellow legislators clarify some of their concerns,” he added. CATHERINE S. VALENTE

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