Congress to come up with BBL ‘best version’

First District Ilocos Norte Representative Rodolfo Fariñas reaffirmed the commitment of the Bicameral Committee (BiCam) on the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) to “do the herculean job of coming up with a better and the best version of the bill.”

Fariñas reiterated the plan of the committee for both Chambers to ratify their respective versions on the 3rd regular session on July 23, 2018, the same day of the State of the Nation Address of President Rodrigo Roa Duterte.

President Duterte will then sign the bill into a law by afternoon of the same day.

Meanwhile, Senator Juan Miguel Zubiri said the result of the conference “will be the cornerstone towards a just, lasting, and dignified peace in the Bangsamoro.”

“The Bangsamoro Basic Law is an instrument of peace. Let this measure start the advent of peace and development to our beloved Mindanao,” he added.

Zubiri also reiterated the following guidelines on coming up with the best version of the BBL:

1. Constitutionality. Being the supreme law of the land, the Constitution sets both the latitude and the limitations of what can be incorporated in the basic law.

2. Autonomy. Within the limit set by the Constitution and other laws, the committee will give the widest latitudes in reconciling the two versions to achieve self-governance and real autonomy in the Bangsamoro.

3. Acceptability not only to the whole nation but more importantly to the people of the Bangsamoro. This law to become effective must be ratified in the plebiscite of the people of the Bangsamoro.

4. Social Justice. This law must correct the injustices and prejudices against our Muslim brethren. It will respect the opportunity in order to advance in life.

5. Peace and Development. Poverty incidence is high in Muslim Mindanao. The long-term objective of this law is to bring lasting and dignified peace in Muslim Mindanao and the Bangsamoro. Thus it is also an instrument of peace and development in the region.

The Bicameral Conference for the Bangsamoro Basic Law started today at Crowne Plaza Manila Galleria, with lawmakers working to reconcile the Senate and House versions of the law.

Nine Senators and 18 members of the House of Representatives compose the Bicameral Conference Committee that will resolve the varying provisions of the House Bill No. 6475 and Senate Bill No. 1717.

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