Marcos’ Bangsamoro bill ‘exercise in futility’
The proposed Basic Law for the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region (BLBAR), which Sen. Ferdinand Marcos Jr. has filed in the Senate to replace the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL), is an “exercise in futility,” according to lawyer Rene Saguisag.
Saguisag, a former senator who acts as the legal counsel of the government peace negotiating panel, has noted that the BLBAR has been “questioned by peace proponents and Bangsamoro stakeholders as it purportedly provides powers to the Bangsamoro less than what has already been devolved in the Autonomous Region In Muslim Mindanao (ARMM).”
“Passing a BLBAR which would render the Bangsamoro weaker than the ARMM is an exercise in futility,” he said.
Correct, not repeat, past mistakes
According to Saguisag, under Marcos’ BLBAR, or Senate Bill No. 2894, “[the] powers over the exploration, development and utilization of minerals have been removed from the regional government when the same is already being enjoyed by the ARMM.”
It also removed the Bangsamoro’s would-be control over inland waters, Saguisag said.
“The whole point of the Bangsamoro peace process is to learn from past mistakes in the ARMM and correct them, not repeat them,” he said.
Chief among these mistakes, he said, is the noncompletion of the devolution of legislative and fiscal powers, which were provided for in Republic Act No. 9054, or the organic act for the ARMM.
According to Saguisag, “passing a BBL that is faithful to both the 1987 Constitution and the genuine aspirations of the Bangsamoro for self-determination is the duty of every Filipino patriot.”
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