SPEAKER Pantaleon Alvarez on Friday filed House Bill on the new proposal for a Bangsamoro Basic Law with 75 lawmakers as co-authors of the measure.
Alvarez, in filing the bill earlier endorsed by the Palace and for submission to the Bangsamoro Transition Commission, said he would consult first his colleagues on the viability of creating a special ad hoc committee at the House of Representatives to tackle the BBL.
Alvarez’s bill proposed putting up institutional arrangements between the central and autonomous government, specifically on the issue of wealth and revenue sharing as well as that intended to ensure the transition of government.
Alvarez earlier assured stakeholders the Lower House would do its “part to help find peace in Mindanao.”
“Now, more than ever, it is imperative that Filipino Muslims and Christians [are] united amid a new threat coming from Islamist militants, espousing an extremist and violent ideology radically different from Islam’s tenets of peace and bortherhood,” Alvarez earlier said.
House Majority Leader Rodolfo Fariñas said on Friday Alvarez’s measure was referred to the House committees on local governments, Muslim affairs and special committee on Peace, Reconciliation and unity for deliberations.
Alvarez’ HB 6475 was in response to President Rodrigo Duterte’s call for “just and lasting peace for a unified nation,” former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, the first to file the BBL bill, said in filing the bill in the previous Congress.
Arroyo, now representing a district in Pampanga, filed the first BBL bill in the 17th Congress, through House Bill 6121 or the “Basic Act for the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region.”
Former Moro Islamic Liberation Front chief peace negotiator Mohagher Iqbal, who urged Alvarez to take the initiative to fast-track the BBL’s passage, said the BBL version submitted by the Bangsamoro Transition Commission should be the one to get passed.
“Any other proposed bill, like or similar or lesser than Republic Act 9054 that created the present Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, is a violation of the agreements of the parties, and more seriously, will only prolong the sufferings and agonies of the people,” Iqbal said.
Iqbal said lawmakers “should look at the Bangsamoro problem as “a political and not a purely legal issue.”