Malacañang on Saturday said the government is preparing amendments to enhance the proposed law that will create a Bangsamoro region.
Palace spokesman Edwin Lacierda made the statement after the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) said the Bangsamoro Basic Law versions of the Senate and the House of Representatives is unacceptable.
“It requires the legislative mill to take its course, and the concerns of the [MILF], the concerns of all the stakeholders—whatever they are—they have to be discussed because we are going through the legislative process,” Lacierda said in a radio interview.
“So, kung may concerns ang MILF, mayroon na kaming mga suggested amendment po na ginagawa (So if the MILF has concerns, we are crafting some suggested amendments). All that will have to be threshed out in the plenary, in the Senate and in the House floor. So let’s allow the debates to happen so that we can come up with a workable, operational, and a BBL that will be acceptable to all,” he added.
MILF peace panel chair Mo¬hagher Iqbal, during a forum on Friday, said that it was better to have no BBL than have a “bad” version of it.
“The issue on natural resources is the number one. Autonomy without access to revenues from natural resources is a joke,” he said referring to provisions deleted by the House of Representatives.
Still, he said the MILF is counting on Congress and the Aquino administration to pass the BBL.
“As a negotiator for more than 10 years, we’ve been in the rough and tumble. Whatever confronts us, we try to overcome it. We’re open for improvement and enhancement. But we hope the essential components of an autonomous government is retained,” Iqbal said.
The Bangsamoro version presented by Senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. was signed by 16 senators in August.
Marcos, chairman of the Senate Committee on Local Government, said 80 percent of the draft submitted by Malacañang to Congress was amended but the original intent of the BBL was retained.
The senator had said that the Palace version of BBL was legally infirm.
In his sponsorship speech of Senate Bill No. 2894 or the proposed Basic Law for the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region, Marcos said he could not accept the draft bill because it allows the establishment of an independent state.
But the MILF had repeatedly said that the Senate version is unacceptable because it deviates from what peace negotiators agreed upon as laid down in the Comprehensive Agreement on Bangsamoro.