Tuesday, October 27, 2015

President Aquino: Congress must immediately pass Bangsamoro Basic Law

From the Philippine News Agency (Oct 27): President Aquino: Congress must immediately pass Bangsamoro Basic Law

When it comes to the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL), the ball is in the court of the Philippine Congress, President Benigno S. Aquino III said on Tuesday.

“We’d like to see the transition of authority and the new governance mode in the Bangsamoro actually taking root and actually delivering on the promise of better governance in that particular part of the country,” the President said during the Annual Presidential Forum of the Foreign Correspondents Association of the Philippines (FOCAP), held at the Solaire Resort in ParaƱaque City.

"We have been lobbying with members of both chambers (of Congress) to have this measure passed, not just passed but passed quickly," he said when asked if he thinks the BBL could still be approved within his term.

Once the BBL is passed, it has to be ratified in a referendum or a plebiscite before the Bangsamoro Transition Authority can exist, he said.

“You have to have the law passed, you have to have the law approved by our bosses,” he emphasized.

The President explained that if the BBL is passed late, for instance in February when the election ban takes effect, “you have a government in place that can do nothing -- therefore (it) will demonstrate nothing, therefore (it) will doom the possibility of the solution having a chance to prove its worth”.

The BBL, supposed to be one of President Aquino's major legacies, has been hampered by doubts among lawmakers, especially after the bloody Mamasapano, Maguindanao encounter that resulted in the death of 44 elite police commandos.


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