‘We will ask the government to deliver the BBL’: BTC Chair 

Following the failure of the 16th Congress to pass the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL), Bangsamoro Transition Commission (BTC) Chairman Mohagher Iqbal said the Bangsamoro people will ask the government in the next administration to deliver the BBL for it the state’s commitment under the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro.

The CAB is the peace agreement signed by the Government of the Philippines (GPH) with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) after more than 17 years of peace negotiations. The peace truce is aimed to address the clamor of the Bangsamoro people for self-determination.

“We will ask the government (in the next administration) to deliver the BBL,” Chairman Iqbal told the participants of the General Assembly of Palimbang Chapter of the United Bangsamoro Justice Party (UBJP) held in Malisbong, Palimbang, Sultan Kudarat Province on March 26, 2016.

The BTC Chair said it is clearly stipulated in the CAB that the government, particularly the Philippine Congress is obliged to enact the BBL.

The BBL will provide the establishment of autonomous Bangsamoro government that is hoped to bring sustainable peace and development for the Bangsamoro people.

“The next administration shall re-file the BBL or make another Bangsamoro law, but it should still be compliant with the CAB,” he pointed out and explained, “If it’s not CAB-compliant, then government will violate the peace agreement.”

Chairman Iqbal advised the participants to remain sober despite the disappointment brought by the non-passage of the BBL.

He also cited the significant role being played by the international community to the peace process.


“The peace negotiation has already concluded with the signing of the CAB,” the BTC Chair explained. “But the peace process on which the peace negotiation is only part of has not ended yet,” he pointed out.

Chairman Iqbal refuted the alleged unconstitutionality of the BBL as claimed by those who oppose the proposed legislation. He said there were lawyers in the BTC, the body that was mandated to draft the BBL, who saw to it that the provisions of the draft law conform to the constitution.

“Only the Supreme Court has the final say whether it (BBL) is unconstitutional,” he added.

He urged the UBJP officers and members to become active in their organization saying it is not merely a political party but a “social movement.”

The BTC head said only if the BBL was passed the UBJP will join the local elections and field candidates that will carry the platform of good governance.

While waiting for the passage of the BBL, he said the organization should focus on strengthening itself. 

“As a social movement group, the UBJP can conduct activities between two elections that will promote peace and solidarity among the Bangsamoro people, Indigenous Peoples and Christian settlers,” he hinted.

The UBJP is a political party created by the MILF in preparation for the Front’s participation in the democratic process of governance once the Bangsamoro government is established following the passage of the BBL.