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A constitutional issue in the BBL debate

HERE shall be created autonomous regions in Muslim Mindanao and in the Cordilleras, consisting of provinces, cities, municipalities, and geographical areas sharing common and distinctive historical and cultural heritage, economic and social structures, and other relevant characteristics within the framework of this Constitution and the national sovereignty as well as territorial integrity of the Republic of the Philippines.” – Section 15, Article X of the Philippine Constitution.

PRESIDENT Duterte spoke of a “hybrid” system of government similar to China’s relationship with Hong Kong, in a speech in Davao City Thursday night. He was reacting to so many voices opposing his proposal for a federal system of government for the country to give the Moro people greater autonomy within the national government.

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Just in case plans for revising the Philippine Constitution get delayed or derailed, or Congress fails anew to enact a Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL), President Duterte has drawn up plans for a Bangsamoro territory to be created via an executive order.

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DEADLINES are best when they are achievable. When, at the end of a period of great effort, a deadline is met, it gives one a great sense of satisfaction. Congratulations are in order and commendations may well be accorded.

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Two years after 44 Special Action Force (SAF) commandos of the Philippine National Police (PNP) were killed in battle in Mamasapano, Maguindanao, it is back in the news with President Duterte announcing that he has ordered the creation of an independent commission to look into it.

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A NEW name has appeared in military reports of fighting in Mindanao – Maute Group. The Western Mindanao Command of the Armed Forces of the Philippines reported the other day that 54 militants identified as members of the Maute Group had been killed in a joint military-police offensive in Lanao del Sur.

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