4February

“Aquino allowed congress to make drastic changes to BBL”: Militant lawmaker says 

President Benigno Aquino is to blame for allowing Congress to make drastic changes to the original draft of Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL), Bayan Muna Party-list Rep. Carlos Isagani Zarate said on Tuesday, February 2, GMA news said in its report.

Zarate said House Bill 5811, or the proposed Basic Law of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region (BLBAR), falls short and fails to adequately address the aspirations of the Bangsamoro and indigenous peoples' struggle because it only grants limited autonomy and does not address the social and economic roots of poverty and injustice.

"What is happening now is that through Congress, the Aquino administration is taking back the proposed additional powers granted to the Bangsamoro in the original BBL draft submitted to Congress and the other concessions negotiated by the MILF (Moro Islamic Liberation Front)," he said.

Zarate noted that genuine autonomy for the Bangsamoro people "can never be possible under a neo-colonial, semi-feudal and corrupt state and ruling system."

The Bangsamoro bill was amended to become the proposed BLBAR following a series of committee hearings by the House ad hoc committee on the BBL. House leaders have conceded the measure is already dead since it cannot be passed by Congress due to lack of time.

By allowing the House panel to pass a version of the BBL different from what was submitted by Malacañang to Congress, Zarate said Aquino ensured the measure will not become a law under his administration.

"Malacañang — President Aquino and his allies — have clearly turned their backs on agreements the GPH had signed with the MILF in seeking to take back the many concessions given to the MILF, on the pretext that there are indeed unconstitutional provisions in the original BBL draft that have to be amended or deleted completely," he said, GMA news quoting Zarate saying.