The House committee on local government voted 32-3 while two more panels – the committee on Muslim affairs and the special panel on peace, reconciliation and unity – voted 27-3 each in favor of House Bill 6475 which abolishes the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM).
Philstar.com/John Unson
House joint panels approve Bangsamoro Basic Law
Delon Porcalla (The Philippine Star) - May 16, 2018 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — A joint committee of the House of Representatives yesterday approved the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) that will provide an autonomous and separate Islamic state in Mindanao.

The House committee on local government voted 32-3 while two more panels – the committee on Muslim affairs and the special panel on peace, reconciliation and unity – voted 27-3 each in favor of House Bill 6475 which abolishes the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM). 

It has been stated that the ARMM is a failed experiment of the administration of the late president and democracy icon Cory Aquino. 

Deputy Majority Leader Juan Pablo Bondoc, who is also with the House rules committee, assured Reps. Celso Lobregat of Zamboanga and Abdullah Khalid Dimaporo and his son Mohamad, both of Lanao del Norte, that amendments would be allowed in the bill. 

“There will be no attempt to muzzle you. Amendments will be allowed at the proper time, in the caucuses and in plenary. Otherwise, it would be very messy,” Bondoc said. 

Anak Mindanao Rep. Amihilda Sangcopan – chair of the House committee on peace, reconciliation and unity – expressed hope that President Duterte would certify the BBL as urgent and sign it into law before Congress adjourns on June 1.

“This will be a best gift for us as we celebrate the Holy Muslim month of Ramadan,” Sangcopan said.

Camarines Sur Rep. LRay Villafuerte said both the Senate and the House should conduct “marathon sessions” to speed up passage of the BBL.

Villafuerte said fast-tracking the approval of BBL would pave the way for Duterte’s vision for the long, elusive peace in Mindanao and rapid economic development, especially in the region’s poorest provinces. 

Duterte said the passage of the BBL should be prioritized as he is getting tired of trying to solve the longstanding conflict in Mindanao. 

The BBL is meant to implement the 2014 Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro, the peace deal signed between the government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF).

Both the MILF and the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) have peace deals with the government, although military operations continue against extremist groups like the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters and the Abu Sayyaf bandit group. 

The proposed BBL seeks to create a new Bangsamoro political entity with enhanced autonomy.

Duterte has warned that failure to enact the measure would worsen the problem in Mindanao and provide terrorists an excuse to recruit members. 

BANGSAMORO BASIC LAW HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
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