Palace to submit BBL to Congress this week

Dharel Placido, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Aug 14 2017 12:47 PM

MANILA - Malacañang on Monday said it will formally submit within the week the draft Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) to Congress.

"We leave it to Congress to act on the matter with dispatch,” Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto Abella said in a news conference in Malacañang.

Abella said Congress may opt to to consolidate the BBL, drafted by the Moro Islamic Liberation Front-led Bangsamoro Transition Commission, with the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region (BAR) bill by Pampanga Rep. Gloria Arroyo.

The expected submission of the BBL to Congress comes about a month after the BTC submitted its final draft of the proposed measure to Palace on July 17.

President Rodrigo Duterte had said he would certify the bill as urgent to expedite its passage.

The BBL is the enabling measure of the peace compact signed by the Philippine government and the MILF in 2014.

MILF officials are hoping that the BBL will be passed under Duterte, which they say will help correct the historical injustices committed against the Moros.

The MILF also believes that the passage of the BBL and the creation of a more independent Bangsamoro entity will stop the rise of Islamist extremists.

Abella’s announcement of the submission of the BBL to Congress this week is contrary to the earlier pronouncement of Senior Deputy Executive Secretary Menardo Guevarra that the BBL had already been transmitted to Congress.