Escudero bares reason why Senate did not pass BBL
ISULAN, SULTAN KUDARAT — Vice presidential candidate and Senator Francis “Chiz” Escudero blamed the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP) for the decision of Congress not to pass the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) at this time.
Escudero, in a press conference at the Sultan Kudarat State University here Thursday, expressed his support for the Senate’s version of the BBL, the one called the Basic Law on the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region (BLBAR), and not the one coming from the OPAPP.
“It seems like OPAPP wants more than what the MILF wants. OPAPP gave us their version of the BBL and told us we can’t touch it. OPAPP told us not to change a comma, a period or a paragraph. When I talked to the MILF, it was fine with them if there were changes,” Escudero said.
“There would have been no problem if OPAPP did not think that they had the monopoly of talent, skills, intelligence and good intentions for the BBL,” Escudero added.
He said the senators had a problem with a provision on the setting up of parallel constitutional bodies in the proposed Bangsamoro autonomous region. The 1987 Constitution has strictly prohibited the setting up of another Commission on Audit, Civil Service Commission and Commission on Elections offices as guaranteed in the OPAPP version of the BBL, Escudero said.
“But OPAPP insisted on it,” he said.
Escudero said should he and his presidential candidate, Senator Grace Poe, win, they would push for a BBL that would be acceptable to all.
“We will craft a BBL that is better than the ARMM but still in the bounds of the Constitution,” he said.
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