Revisions to BBL OK, says Iqbal
COTABATO CITY, Philippines—The Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) said it did not feel threatened by the possibility some provisions of the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) would be revised as long as the amendments would not dilute the resulting law.
MILF chief negotiator Mohagher Iqbal told the Inquirer the rebel group was confident that what had been signed under the comprehensive agreement on the Bangsamoro would still be included in the law.
“The bottom line is that it shouldn’t be diluted,” Iqbal said on the phone.
The proposed BBL seeks to create a Bangsamoro region with enhanced autonomy as part of the comprehensive peace agreement between the MILF and the Philippine government aimed at ending more than four decades of war waged by the Moros in Mindanao.
The proposed BBL was scheduled for approval by Congress last month, but the Mamaspano tragedy derailed Malacañang’s timetable.
Malacañang originally targeted about a year of transition between the dissolution of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) and the first election for the Bangsamoro parliament in May 2016.
With emotions running high following the Mamasapano massacre that saw 44 police commandos, 17 MILF fighters and three civilians killed on Jan. 25 in Maguindanao province, the House of Representatives and the Senate suspended hearings on the measure.
Some lawmakers threatened to amend provisions that they believed were unconstitutional.
Mohammad Al-amin Julkipli of the legal team of the Office of the Presidential Assistant on the Peace Process (Opapp) said the proposed revisions were brought about by deliberate misinformation.
Julkipli said the misinformation sought to paint as unconstitutional provisions on the creation of agencies of constitutional bodies, the funding for the Bangsamoro, the justice system in the region and the regional police command in Bangsamoro.
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