Bangsamoro bill seen to go through wringer

by Ira Pedrasa,

Posted at Aug 21 2014 07:16 PM | Updated as of Aug 22 2014 03:16 AM

MANILA - Government peace panel chairman Miriam Coronel Ferrer expects lawmakers to scrutinize controversial aspects of the draft Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) once hearings start in Congress.

In an interview with ANC, Ferrer said: “We expect questions on very specific details from different legislators who are particularly concerned on different items such as taxation, plebiscite, territory. It’s very well expected when the draft bill is opened up to committee hearings.”

Asked if she expects major revisions will be introduced by lawmakers, Ferrer only said she believes they understand fully the context and history behind the bill.

“Over the past few months we were negotiating, we’ve been in touch with them, we have been updating them. But it’s their responsibility and prerogative to take a look and ask relevant questions,” she said.

She said even local leaders may have apprehensions since “they will be looking at the draft for the first time.”

She said, however, that the stakeholders have, in one way or another, taken part in the negotiations.

“Otherwise, there’s a common goal to be able to see through this process and put in place the foundation for lasting peace and development in Mindanao,” she said.

The bill is expected to be disclosed to the public once it is submitted to Congress. The draft was submitted to President Benigno Aquino III this morning.

Malacanang expects the elections for officials of the Bangsamoro government to coincide with the elections in 2016.