Aquino assures BBL to be pushed 'with conviction'
- Philippine News Agency
MANILA, Philippines -- President Benigno Aquino III assured members of the Bangsamoro Transition Commission on Thursday that he will aggressively push for the enactment of the draft Bangsamoro Basic Law in Congress.
“I want to be able to push this with conviction,” Aquino told the BTC, which drafted the BBL.
The meeting came after serious snags in the peace process, with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front complaining that a review of the draft BBL by the Office of the President had emasculated the proposed law, which will pave the way for the creation of the new Bangsamoro entity as part of the peace agreement to end decades of conflict in Mindanao.
The review also delayed the submission of the draft BBL to Congress, raising concerns it may not be enacted in time for a plebiscite on the Bangsamoro to be held simultaneous with the 2016 elections.
In its latest diatribe, the MILF, in an editorial on its website Luwaran, accused the government of attempting to make it accept a version of the BBL “that may be constitutional but will not solve the Bangsamoro Question.”
At the meeting with the BTC, which is chaired by MILF chief peace negotiator Mohagher Iqbal, Aquino appealed: “Let’s approach this with an open mind, see if everything is consistent with the CAB (Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro), and limit the potential challenges.”
Also at the meeting were presidential adviser on the peace process Teresita Quintos Deles, other Cabinet members, and government negotiators Miriam Coronel-Ferrer, Senen Bacani and National Commission on Muslim Filipinos Secretary Yasmin Busran-Lao.
“Let us put ourselves in each other’s shoes,” Aquino said as he urged both parties to bridge their differences and finalize the draft bill.
“We want the Bangsamoro Transition Authority to be put in place next year, as early as possible,” he said.
The peace panels are set to resume discussions on the draft BBL Friday. -- Philippine News Agency