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Philippine lawmakers fear railroading of Bangsamoro law

Publication Date : 08-05-2014


Members of the Philippine House of Representatives are worried their hands could be tied in drafting the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) if the Aquino administration would take an “all or nothing” stance on the peace pact.

“There might be an agreement between the government and the MILF (Moro Islamic Liberation Front) to give it (BBL) to Congress, let Congress debate about it, but in the end it is an all or nothing proposition. It is a take it or leave it proposition.

That’s what we want to know and, in order to do that, we need somebody authoritative to answer,” Minority Leader Ronaldo Zamora told a press conference.

Zamora said the Aquino administration might argue that after seven years spent on the negotiating table to hammer out a BBL, it was pointless to “repeat the process and talk about these things all over again.”

“If so, why did we just waste six or seven years?” asked Zamora.

Zamora said the House had yet to see a copy of the draft BBL for legislation in Congress more than a month after President Aquino signed a comprehensive agreement on the Bangsamoro with the MILF last March 26.

With only seven months left to meet the President’s self- declared deadline for Congress to pass the BBL, Zamora was convinced that the administration wanted the draft BBL railroaded as he doubted if there  was enough time for legislators to comb through each provision.


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