The Bangsamoro Basic Law will not easily hurdle Congress because of constitutional barriers, President Rodrigo Duterte admitted Tuesday.
Despite his efforts to seek amends with Moro rebels with the passage of the Bangsamoro Basic Law, the President said he does not think the proposed measure would be easily approved, amid loopholes he declined to mention.
Duterte expressed concern that he would fail to give a concrete answer to Al-Hajj Murad Ebrahim, the current chairman of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front who “in so many times, present and past … would want to see me on a regular basis and talk about the progress of the BBL.”
“I do not think it will hurdle constitutional… binabasa ko paulit-ulit… constitutional barriers,” Duterte said, following the signing of the country’s 2018 national budget and tax reform program.
“Tapos sinasabi niya kung ano ang sabi ni— “Mayor, how we proceed with the—Someday, let us not start now,” Duterte said.
The President urged the MILF to help the government on how to proceed with the bill, which has been pending in Congress.
“Pero kung di natin ibibigay ‘yan (BBL), kindly help me think of ways on how to do it kasi the other choice is if we go to war, it opens the floodgates of Mindanao to everybody else,” Duterte said, warning of the possible spread of extremist ideology in Mindanao.
Duterte last August submitted the draft Bangsamoro Basic Law before Congress, without any changes to the version crafted by the Bangsamoro Transition Commission—mostly led by the MILF.
The President earlier said they are placing the future of the draft bill to Congress, which would decide on the matter along with the bill to be crafted by Nur Misuari-led Moro National Liberation Front.
In a speech last Sunday, Duterte had urged the Moro National Liberation Front and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front not to declare war against the government in the event that the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law does not hurdle Congress.
Lawmakers earlier agreed to hold the barangay elections in time for the Charter change plebiscite and the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law to May 14, 2018.
Congress, however, took a holiday break last week without passing the measure.