MANILA – President Benigno Aquino III on Thursday said the government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) peace panels are still thoroughly studying the draft Bangsamoro Basic Law.
In a Bombo Radyo interview, Aquino said both sides agree on the underlying principles of the proposed measure, but he admitted there have been some difficulties in translating those principles into law.
The President, however, insisted so much progress has been made in resolving any difference between both sides.
While he would not give a definite date to submit the draft to Congress, he said they aim to do so as soon as possible. He added the government still aims to hold a plebiscite on the law by the end of the year.
''Ayokong mangako hanggang di ko tangan pero ang masasabi ko sa inyo ang laki na ng inabante na mukhang maisusulong na, maihahahain na sa Kongreso sana sa lalong madaling panahon isang panukalang batas na sasang-ayunan ng lahat ng stakeholders,'' he said.
''Hinahabol natin may plebiscite tayo sa end of this year kung pwede at depende nga iyan sa talakayan ng Kongreso dahil hinahabol nating magkaroon ng isat-kalahating taon man lang na maipakita ng transitional authority na mas angkop ang sistema para sa pagpapatakbo ng Bangsamoro."
The Bangsamoro Transition Commission, which was tasked to craft the law, has already submitted to the Palace a revised version of the Bangsamoro Basic Law. President Aquino is now reviewing the revised draft.
The passage of the BBL in Congress will pave the way for the conduct of a plebiscite. Once the BBL is ratified in a plebiscite, a Bangsamoro Transition Authority will replace the current Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao. This will be a holdover entity until officials of a new Bangsamoro government are elected in the 2016 elections. - with ANC