Congress is still keen on passing the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) despite being set back by the January 25 Mamasapano clash, according to Senate President Franklin Drilon.
Drilon on Thursday said they are working to pass the proposed BBL by June 12 this year, or before Congress takes a break.
But he added that the Senate cannot pass the bill in its current form because ‘[many object to what they perceive as unconstitutional provisions].”
He cited the provisions on an auditing body and a police force, which Drilon said should be under the control of the national government as stipulated by existing laws.
The budgeting mechanism under the proposed BBL should also be amended before it could be passed into law, Drilon told reporters in Bulacan.
Lump-sum allocations and block grants should not be allowed under the measure, he added, to ensure transparency.
Hearings in the Senate and the House of Representatives on the BBL were suspended after 44 police commandos were killed in the clash with Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) forces and the Baangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters.
Drilon said there is no pressure on the Senate to pass the bill immediately.
He added that they want to pass the bill as the people have no choice but to forge a peace deal with the MILF to end decades-long armed conflict in Mindanao that has hampered its growth and development.
“That [BBL] is what we need to have peace. There’s no alternative but to have peace and stability in Mindanao,” Drilon said.