The proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law to be submitted by President Rodrigo Duterte on July 18 or days before he delivers his second State of the Nation Adress will have a “fair chance” in Congress, said Senate President Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III.
“July 18 is the target date of submission. BBL has a fair chance this time,” Pimentel said.
PImentel said that some members of the Bangsamoro Transition Commission have removed the unconstitutional aspects of the first BBL draft.
Pimentel, president of the ruling PDP-Laban, was referring to the proposal previously submitted by the Aquino administration to Congress. He noted that “there is no more Mamasapano negative effect at this time unlike before.”
The BBL filed during the Aquino administration formed the legal framework for the peace agreement between the government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front.
However, the proposal suffered a slow death in Congress following the controversial 2015 Mamasapano clash, which put in question the ceasefire mechanism between the government and the MILF.
Over 60 people were killed, including 44 members of the Special Action Force (SAF), after government troops engaged the MILF, its splinter group Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters, and members of private armies—in a gunflight.
Senator Antonio Trillanes IV, a member of the Senate minority bloc, meanwhile, believes BBL has a slim chance of getting the approval of Congress.
“They said it needs to be passed, but it’s passage is uncertain. We have seen what happened during the time of President Aquino, although he was so popular. He pushed for it, but it was not passed.”
Aquino had wanted the Bangsamoro region to be established before his term ends in 2016. He had asked the House of Representatives and the Senate to pass the law that would implement the peace deal with the MILF before he delivers his last Sona in 2015, but it did not happen.