Rody to Congress: Expedite BBL approval

The Philippine Star

DAVAO CITY, Philippines — President Duterte warned lawmakers that there could be trouble if Congress fails to expedite approval of the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) that has been pending in the House for the past months. 

“If we do not act on it expeditiously, I think that we are headed for trouble. Yes, we continue to talk and I hope that Congress would expedite its approval,” the President said at a press conference at the Davao International Airport before leaving for a three-day visit to Japan the other night.

Duterte pointed out that he had committed to both the Moro Islamic Liberation Front and the Moro National Liberation Front the passage of the BBL.

“That is a commitment. Not even a promise but a commitment to the Moro people,” Duterte said.

The draft BBL that the Bangsamoro Transition Commission (BTC) submitted to Duterte last July 17 reached Congress in August but its transmittal did not indicate it was urgent.

“I have committed to the main rebel fronts, the MI pati MN, that we will work for a federal setup and maybe grant them the territories that they want and the kind of framework of governance that they expect with a reformation of all the things in the Philippines,” Duterte said. 

The President said the talks should continue with Congress for the passage of the BBL.

“We must continue to talk and I will urge Congress to fast-track it because (the rebels) are getting impatient,” Duterte said. 

He likewise said government should comply with what it has promised regarding the passage of the BBL.

“I told them of the wages of how to negotiate peace. Sabi ko, sandali lang, but we will comply on our side with what we have promised,” the President said.

Benito Ranque, deputy secretary general for Mindanao of the ruling Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan yesterday called for the creation of tribal substates in the proposed federal government.

Ranque said the tribal substates would strengthen the spirit of the Indigenous People’s Right Act or Republic Act 8371, which gives full recognition to the ancestral rights of tribal Filipinos.

He said the substates could be created under a federal state of Mindanao where Muslims would also enjoy autonomy from the central government. – With Perseus Echeminada

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