BTC submits new BBL to Duterte

BTC Chairman Ghazali Jaafar formally submitted on Monday (July 17) the new draft Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) to President Rodrigo Duterte in ceremonies held at the Rizal Hall of Malacañan Palace.

In his message, Jaafar told the President that the draft BBL is the “new formula for the very elusive peace in Mindanao.”

“We humbly submit that this new proposed BBL is the best antidote to violent extremism that has wrought havoc in many parts of the Bangsamoro,” Jaafar said.

In describing the new draft BBL, Jaafar mentioned that it is “faithful to the letter and spirit of the CAB and considerate of other agreements gained through decades of peace process.”

He added that the proposed law is more inclusive as it reflects the diversity of interests of the peoples in the Bangsamoro, and that it is a concrete alternative against the growing doubts and frustrations on the peace process.

President Duterte, who personally received the copy of the draft law, gave his assurance of support for the eventual passage of the BBL.

“May I say to you, my brother Moros – that I commit to support – in front of everybody – my covenant with you that I will support and husband this instrument as it goes in the legislature for consideration,” the President told the Moro delegations which included MILF Chairman Alhaj Murad Ebrahim and Central Committee officials, provincial governors in ARMM and Region 12, Muslim congressmen, ulama and other sectors of the Bangsamoro.

“This moment is a significant step forward in our quest to end centuries of hatred, mistrust and injustice that cost and affected the lives of millions of Filipinos,” the President said.

“InshaAllah, we will achieve sustainable and inclusive peace and development in the Bangsamoro, Mindanao (and) the entire country,” he also said.

Once enacted and approved in a plebiscite, the BBL shall govern the administration of the Bangsamoro government which shall supplant the present ARMM.

The new draft BBL was completed by the expanded BTC in almost four months, beginning last March 5 up to June 16 when it was formally adopted by the commissioners.

Under Executive Order No. 08 issued on November 7, 2016 the draft BBL shall be submitted to the Office of the President for submission to Congress.

Both Senate President Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III and House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez were also present to witness the event. ####