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Malacañang still hopeful Congress will pass BBL

BANGSAMORO NEWS UPDATES • 05:38 AM Sat Jan 16, 2016
Sam Bautista/PNA

BAGUIO CITY -- Malacañang is still hopeful that Congress will be able to pass the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) before it goes into recess for the May 9 national and local elections.This was the message delivered by lawyer Armi Beatriz Bayot of the Office of the Solicitor General and a member of the legal team of the government negotiating panel with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF).Bayot on Friday said that despite the lateness of the hour, the present administration was still optimistic that the BBL would be approved by both House of Congress within the next three weeks.Congress resumes sessions on Jan. 18 after its Christmas recess.The optimism was shared by Baguio Representative Nicasio M. Aliping Jr., who said that the House Committee on Local Governments had already passed the measure on second reading and was now in its period of amendment before it would be deliberated by the en banc membership. I am optimistic that all the Cordillera lawmakers will support the passage of the BBL because like Mindanao we are also expecting to create our own autonomous government,” Aliping said.Bayot said that BBL was a product of over 500 consultations among a cross section of the Mindanao population in order to gather as much information to craft the bill. Mindanao and the Cordillera have a common experience under-development, and BBL will hopefully be the answer for Mindanao, at least,” Bayot added.BBL would also be the answer for the decades old problem of poverty and government neglect, which is the experience and which also started the secessionist movement by the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) in the late 1960s, Bayot said. If BBL is passed then there would be no longer any reason for armed groups to continue fighting the government,” she said.Likewise, BBL could stop terror groups from getting a foothold in Mindanao, she added. Although there is no assurance that terror groups will not locate themselves in Mindanao, the fact that closing the economic gap would lessen people from joining these terror organizations,” Bayot said. (PNA)RMA/JBL/SAMDBAUTISTA/RSM

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