Dureza confident BBL will hurdle constitutionality question
“There will be some who might question it. No, I’m not worried because we hear it from the initial critics of the BBL in the Senate. They themselves have said,” Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process Jesus Dureza said on Friday during an interview with “The Chiefs” on One News Cignal TV.
KJ Rosales/File

Dureza confident BBL will hurdle constitutionality question

Jose Rodel Clapano (The Philippine Star) - July 22, 2018 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process Jesus Dureza expressed confidence that the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) to be signed into law by President Duterte tomorrow will hurdle questions on constitutionality.

Dureza said ‎the government is expecting critics to question the legality of the BBL before the Supreme Court.

“There will be some who might question it. No, I’m not worried because we hear it from the initial critics of the BBL in the Senate. They themselves have said,” Dureza said on Friday during an interview with “The Chiefs” on One News Cignal TV.

Dureza mentioned Sen. Franklin Drilon as one of the critics in the Senate.

“He (Drilon) was very concerned about this issue. But now, after all of those things have been done, he said he is confident it will hurdle constitutional issues,” Dureza said.

Despite the support, Dureza said the government cannot really stop some people from going to the Supreme Court.

“There are really some people who will go to the Supreme Court. We are not expecting. I hope they don’t. But we cannot stop it,” he said.

Dureza said the implementation of the BBL would encounter a problem once the SC issues a temporary restraining order.

“The problem there is when the Supreme Court issued a TRO. ‎Our timetable will stop from there,” Dureza said.

The BBL is set to replace the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) with the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM).

Dureza said the matter on good governance in Bangsamoro will be addressed by the new BBL organic law.

He cited among other concerns, the issue about the national agencies once the Bangsamoro body is officially created.

“The AFP (Armed Forces of the Philippines) still intact. They (BARMM) will have no army or the police. All of those things that have been cause of concern were properly addressed. That is why I would like to congratulate the bicameral committee of both chambers (of Congress). They really worked hard overtime,” Dureza said.

He said the bicameral conference committee, composed of senators and congressmen have fine-tuned the new BBL organic law.

“They bridge all the challenges. All the concerns have been fixed. Even now, I love saying this publicly. That is something they welcome. That this is the ARMM plus, plus, plus. Meaning to say, this is not an ARMM that move backward. But ARMM that has been improved,” Dureza said.

Dureza said former ARMM governor Nur Misuari, founding chairman of the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF), has given up on BARMM.

Although Misuari’s group neither opposes nor supports the BARMM, all these concerns including the breakaway groups such as the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF), Abu Sayyaf and MNLF are among the concerns being addressed by the government.

“Neither do they oppose it. It is a concern. But we have to work on it. One step at a time, because there are breakaway groups already. ‎These are things that need to be addressed by the government,” he said, adding now that the Bangsamoro government will be installed, the BBL will define the BARMM.

He said the latest he heard from Misuari is that he is “waiting for the big picture.”

“He is waiting for a broader picture. That is what we get from his pronouncements,” Dureza said.

One of the critics of the BBL that is also known as the Bangsamoro Organic Law, Zamboanga City Rep. Celso Lobregat said his constituents have been assured on their apprehension over its possible implementation.

Lobregat added he would not even support those who want to challenge the new Bangsamoro law before the SC to test its constitutionality. – With Roel Pareño

.JESUS DUREZA BANGSAMORO BASIC LAW
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