Let next admin push for BBL passage, Mindanao bishop tells Aquino
Citing lack of thorough consultation with various stakeholders, a Catholic bishop from Mindanao on Friday said President Benigno Aquino III should consider letting the next administration to push for the passage of the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL).
Cotabato Auxiliary Bishop Jose Collin Bagaforo said more time is needed to look into “constitutional infirmities” in the proposed measure that would create a new Bangsamoro entity in Muslim Mindanao.
“Klarong-klaro na maraming constitutional infirmities na implikasyon sa pagbago ng Constitution. Pangalawa, parang kapag ginawa ang BBL magiging federalism na. Parang cart before the horse. Ayusin muna natin ‘yung klase ng gobyerno natin,” he said in an interview with church-run Radyo Veritas.
(It is clear that there are constitutional infirmities. If you approve the BBL, it’s like subscribing to a federal type of government. It’s like putting the cart before the horse. We should organize the government first.)
Bagaforo said the growing opposition against the BBL was due to the lack of careful study of the measure. He then urged the president and the lawmakers not to hasten its passage.
“Dapat pag-aralang mabuti ‘yung magiging aksyon na fair and just to everyone, at saka dapat inclusive ang BBL na ii-implement dito sa Mindanao,” Bagaforo said.
(They should study first the actions that will be fair and just to everyone, and the BBL that they will implement should be inclusive for the people in Mindanao.)
“Ilang buwan na lang hayaan na muna niya. Huwag tayong magmadali. Hayaan na natin sa susunod na administrasyon,” he added.
(He has several months left in office; he should just let it pass. We should not hasten it. We should just let the next administration (deal with it).)
Aside from representatives from the government and the Moro National Liberation Front, the bishop also suggested inviting former justices of the Supreme Court, law school deans, and the Philippine Constitution Association in deliberating the measure.
“The problem was that when they were crafting the BBL, they kept it under wraps,” Bagaforo said.
Congress failed to meet its June 11 deadline to finish the ongoing plenary debates on the BBL when it adjourned its session.
After the plenary debates and amendments, the 91-page bill is set to be put to a final vote by the 289-strong chamber.
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