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New BBL draft now complete

A new draft of the “inclusive” Bangsamoro Basic Law is now complete and hopefully will be certified as urgent by President Duterte for its passage in Congress, according to a Palace official.

“I am pleased to report that the Bangsamoro peace process is on track,” Irene Santiago, chairperson of the government implementing panel for the Bangsamoro peace accords, said in a Mindanao Hour briefing in Davao City.

Santiago said the Bangsamoro Transition Commission approved the “final draft” of the BBL last Tuesday after months of work. The new draft, which Santiago described as a “better version” of the original BBL, will be submitted to the President next week for his review.

“The Bangsamoro Transition Commission used the BBL as the basic document for the draft that they made…I think this is an even better version of the BBL,” Santiago said.

She said they hope the President will make a pitch for the passage of the proposed BBL in the second State-of-the-Nation Address next month. “We are hoping and planning that the President will mention in the SoNA and say ‘This is a priority bill for me.’ So that’s the idea,” she said.

Asked if the President will certify as urgent the draft BBL, Santiago said: “I have no doubt he will.”

The first draft of the BBL seeks to create a new autonomous entity called Bangsamoro with larger territory and powers replacing the ARMM. The draft, however, failed to get the nod of Congress due to questions about alleged unconstitutional provisions. (Genalyn D. Kabiling)

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