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BTC rejects HB 5811, calls passage of orig BBL

BANGSAMORO NEWS UPDATES • 15:38 PM Fri Jul 31, 2015
Edwin Fernandez

COTABATO CITY – The Bangsamoro Transition Commission
(BTC) on Wednesday rejected House Bill 5811 or the draft Basic Law for
Bangsamoro Autonomous Region (BLBAR) and called on Senate and House leaders to
pass the original draft of Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL).

We listed at least 28 provisions of the original
BBL that were deleted or changed in HB 5811,” Mohaqher Iqbal, BTC chair, said.
By that, he said the draft law becomes less autonomous than Republic Act 9054
that created the current Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM).

BTC was tasked to draft the BBL and it has 15
members, seven representing the government and eight from the Moro Islamic
Liberation Front (MILF).

We also requested the Senate to pass Senate Bill
2408 in its original form,” he added.

According to Iqbal, passing the diluted BBL will run
counter to the provisions of the Framework Agreement on the Bangsamoro (FAB) and
the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro (CAB).

The BTC passed the Resolution No. 005, Series of
2015 – has an attachment of partial list of substantial issues on House Bill
No. 5811,” was signed by 14 members. One member has resigned last year.

Iqbal explained the BTC resolution by saying when nose
is removed in a person’s face, it will be incomplete, when an ear is removed,
the face will be incomplete.”

He said the original draft (SB 2408 and HB 4994) has
undergone meticulous review and revisions by the BTC, Office of the President
legal committee before these were forwarded to the legislature.

In the House, the Rep. Rufus Rodriguez-led Adhoc Committee
revised HB 4994 and came up with HB 5811.
Floor deliberation of HB 588 has started but was overtaken by Congress
recess on June 11 this year.

The Senate version (SB-2408) was rejected by Senate
Committee on Local Government chaired by Sen. Ferdinand BongBong Marcos Jr in a
privilege speech, saying SB 2408 cannot be passed in its present form and
substance” because it will lead us to perdition.”

Marcos said he will submit his own version of BBL before the caucus called for by Senate President Franklin Drilon on August 3.Iqbal said HB 5811 is 50 percent good, 50 percent

I hope the Philippine Congress will listen to BTC,”
he said.

He also assured the public that the MILF maintained its
stance to push with the peace process even if draft BBL fails to hurdle the 16th

No matter what happen to BBL, the MILF will
continue to search for peace in Mindanao,” Iqbal said.

MILF chief Al Haj Murad was quoted as saying that
the MILF is losing hope the draft law will be passed and would wait for the
next President to work for the passage of the bill. (Edwin Fernandez)

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