DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 14 July) – The Senate Committee on Local Government will continue working on the crafting of a substitute bill to the draft Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) unless the Supreme Court issues a temporary restraining order (TRO), Senator Ferdinand Marcos, Jr., said.
But “BBL is dead,” the senator said, “if the Supreme Court voids the peace agreements.”
Marcos sent this response to MindaNews’ query if his committee would await the SC ruling on the petitions filed by the Philippine Constitution Association (Philconsa) and a former representative from Negros Occidental, to declare the Framework Agreement on the Bangsamoro (FAB) and the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro (CAB) as “unconstitutional and void”
“The petition will not in any way hinder the continuing work of the committee to craft a substitute bill unless the Supreme Court agrees to hear it and then issue a TRO,” Marcos said.
He also explained that the search for peace in Mindanao continues even if the SC voids the peace agreements. “We must not abandon efforts for a lasting peace in Mindanao. We must redouble our efforts to find that elusive peace. There is no other option,” he said.
For now, the committee is “on track with its work to remedy the infirmities of the BBL,” he said, adding that by the time the Senate resumes session on July 27, “we will have specific and concrete proposals to discuss.”
Marcos last month junked the draft BBL or Senate Bill 2408, saying it would in its present form and substance, lead the country to perdition.
He vowed to submit his substitute bill before President Aquino delivers his sixth and last State of the Nation Address on July 27.
At the House of Representatives, Cagayan de Oro Rep. Rufus Rodriguez, chair of the Ad Hoc Committee on the Bangsamoro Basic Law told MindaNews on Sunday that they will continue with the interpellations on the BBL when Congress resumes session later this month.
“We will continue deliberations in August,” Rodriguez said, adding “there is no TRO issued by the Supreme Court.”
The Committee on May 20 approved its substitute bill, HB 5811 or the Basic Law of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region. This is the bill that is the subject of interpellations But it has been criticized as a bill that will render the future Bangsamoro “less autonomous” than the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao that it is supposed to replace. (Carolyn O. Arguillas / MindaNews)