Senator Juan Miguel Zubiri delivers his sponsorship speech of the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law. Photo by BTC Secretariat

“BBL an Advent of a new Era for Mindanao”- Sen. Zubiri

The Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) is an “advent of a new era for Mindanao,” this is how Sen. Juan Miguel Zubiri described the new proposed Bangsamoro Law during a press briefing. 

He told reporters during the press briefing that the Senate remained on track to passing the legislation as it was introduced before the plenary on Wednesday, a report by Inquirer.Net said.

“What we passed as a committee report is not 100-percent BTC [Bangsamoro Transition Commission] version. But we simply say that it’s 96-percent BTC. All the important provisions are there. If we added other provisions, it was just to strengthen,” Zubiri disclosed as report by Inquirer.Net. 

For his part, BTC Chair Ghazali Jaafar, who have participated in the series of hearings expressed confidence that the submission of the committee report would lead to Senate approval of the BBL.

“And the BBL is not only necessary. But we believe it’s very important and urgent because we consider this a formula for peace in Mindanao,” Jaafar told the reporters.

“And with the passage of this proposal, it will address the peace situation in Mindanao and pave the way for realization of the dreams of the Bangsamoro people and all other people in the region, including Christians, and IPs (indigenous peoples),” he added.

Zubiri, who sees the Senate’s passage of the bill by March 21, said they were also confident that no provision of the BBL would be unconstitutional.

He also said the proposed measure would provide mechanisms to audit the P72 billion automatically-appropriated annual block grant or development fund for the Bangsamoro government.

In the same article by Inquirer.Net, Zubiri said that the BBL also includes an anti-dynasty provision. But it does not cover mayors and governors because they are “still awaiting a national anti-dynasty law.”

Zubiri hopes to submit the approved bicameral version of the measure before President Rodrigo Duterte’s State of the Nation Address (SONA) in July.

After that, a plebiscite running from 90 to 150 days between September to November will be conducted to ratify the BBL.

Once ratified through a plebiscite, he said the Bangsamoro Transtion Authority (BTA) would be setup, to be followed by an election after three years.

The BTA would be the interim government to allow “the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) to transition from a rebel organization into governance through a peaceful democratic process.” (Source: Inquirer.Net)