Allies in BBL passage: De Lima supports Duterte call


Posted at Oct 31 2017 06:28 PM

MANILA - Detained Sen. Leila de Lima on Tuesday said she was supportive of political nemesis, President Rodrigo Duterte's call for the urgent passage of the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL).

In a statement, De Lima said the BBL needs "only some tweaking or fine tuning" to pass constitutional challenges.

"I am in full support of the President’s call for the immediate passage of the BBL," the statement read.

"We cannot afford to miss this yet another big shot at peace and stability in the region," she added.

De Lima added that she has been briefed by Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process Teresita Deles on the latest version of the BBL draft, which she said is "essentially the same" as the original version created in 2014.

"While not a perfect piece of document, the draft BBL represents a huge and monumental first step at addressing, in very concrete terms, the long-standing aspirations of our Muslim brothers and sisters. Their core aspiration is, of course, genuine autonomy and meaningful self-governance," she said.

"Time is indeed running out. I don't see any other option, except chaos and more sufferings for the people, Moros and Christians alike, in the region," she added.

The President has been a key lobbyist of the BBL and previously agreed to certify it as urgent, as the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) continued to bemoan the slow progress of the proposed measure in Congress.

House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez last month filed the Palace-endorsed version of the proposed BBL.

The BBL is the enabling measure of the peace compact signed by the Philippine government and the MILF in 2014. It was crafted by the Bangsamoro Transition Commission, which formally turned over the draft measure to Malacañang last July 17.