Bangsamoro law still a priority - Palace

by Jorge Cariño, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jul 30 2014 06:03 PM | Updated as of Jul 31 2014 02:03 AM

MANILA - Malacanang gave an assurance that the Aquino administration will continue to push for the passage of the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL).

"We'd like to assure the commitment of the government with respect to pushing for the Bangsamoro Basic Law. The government and the [Moro Islamic Liberation Front] panels are again going to discuss the final draft to be submitted to Congress. So we are still committed insofar as coming up with, as the President says, a just and fair Bangsamoro basic bill for Congress to look into and discuss," Presidential Spokesperson Edwin Lacierda said.

Some reports say ground commanders of the MILF are already restless over the delays in the passage of the BBL.

Lacierda said the government expects the MILF to inform their people on the ground about the developments.

He said the government is optimistic that the bill will be approved before the end of the year, and the Bangsamoro Juridical Entity will be able participate in the synchronized national elections in 2016.

"We believe that we can continue with the time frame that we have envisioned so that all the necessary building blocks for an effective and a truly representative bill and law will be passed by Congress," he said.

He said the government will not waver in its commitment to the Bangsamoro people, which was laid down during the signing of the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro (CAB).

"That commitment has not wavered. All we want to be sure of is that the bill that will be submitted to Congress will be acceptable to all - both from government and also the Bangsamoro people,” he said.

The government and MILF panels are set to meet again to ensure that the provisions of the bill will pass congressional muster.