Anti-dynasty provision difficult for Bangsamoro, says Zubiri

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Feb 12 2018 08:59 PM | Updated as of Feb 12 2018 11:20 PM

MANILA - An anti-political dynasty provision in the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) will in the end prove to be problematic, a senator said on Monday. 

Senator Miguel Zubiri, chair of the Senate subcommittee on the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL), said the provision may be perceived as discriminatory because the proposal in the Constitution prohibiting political dynasties has not yet been passed. 

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"If we force it upon the Bangsamoro region, they’re going to go back to say ‘Why are you discriminating? You can’t even approve it for the whole nation, for the Christians. Why is it good for us but not good for the Christians?" he told ANC's Headstart.

He added, the Bangsamoro people have a long history of intermarriage and the provision barring relatives of second-degree consanguinity from seeking political office means three-fourths of all elected officials of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) will be disqualified.

"Ang mangyayari diyan, baka matalo tayo sa plebisito kasi lahat ng politiko will campaign against this [BBL] because they will be disqualified," he said.

The 1987 Constitution lays out a policy against political dynasties but left it to Congress to define it in a law, but it has never been able to pass this measure. 

Zubiri said the Senate subcommittee panel on the BBL recently visited different parts of Mindanao to "get the sense and the pulse" of the Bangsamoro people and the response has so far been positive.

President Rodrigo Duterte last month asked the Moro people for more time for government to pass and enact the BBL. He has repeatedly warned that Moro rebels would go to war if the measure is not passed.

The measure aims to finalize the peace compact signed by the Philippine government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front in 2014. A version of the bill under the previous administration failed to pass because of provisions viewed to be unconstitutional. 

The President, who vowed to support the BBL in his presidential campaign, earlier said there are still provisions in the current version that may violate the 1987 Constitution, but that these may be addressed by shifting from the present unitary form of government to federal.

Duterte earlier pledged that he would ask Congress to hold a special session for the passage of the BBL. He has also appointed 19 members of a consultative body on charter change.