PASSING the Bangsamoro measure into law will not be easy, Malacañang admitted on Saturday.
Deputy Presidential Spokesperson Abigail Valte made the admission a day after Presidential Spokesperson Edwin Lacierda announced that the draft Basic Bangsamoro Law (BBL) is only 80 percent done.
“As for the easy approval [of the Bangsamoro law], we have accepted that it will take time because the meat and content of the draft will really change certain structures,” Valte said.
The draft bill on the BBL, which will establish the Bangsamoro region, is the fruit of the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro (CAB) which the government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) signed in April.
The CAB includes annexes on transitional modalities, power-sharing, wealth-sharing and normalization or putting MILF combatants beyond use.
The draft measure was submitted to Malacanang for review but Palace lawyers made several revisions, prompting the Executive branch and the Transition Commission to hold further consultations to iron out the kinks. Once a final Executive review is done, the draft will be submitted to Congress for approval.
“There is a need for it to be crafted so well so it can stand the legal test of Congress and possibly the Supreme Court. That has been our argument from Day 1. We will continue to work with both sides on what is left of the challenging issues and we are very focused on that,” Valte said.
Representatives Jim Hataman-Salliman of Basilan and Celso Lobregat of Zamboanga City said the BBL draft will be scrutinized because Congress will not be a rubber stamp.
“This is a landmark bill, and we don’t want it half-baked because surely, somebody will question its legality once it is on the floor. We want everybody to express their thoughts and participate in its crafting,” Salliman, who heads the House Committee on Peace, Reconciliation and Unity, said.
“The BBL should be comprehensive, inclusive, acceptable, implementable, fair and consistent with the Constitution and national laws,” Lobregat said.