Whatever may come out of BiCam Conference can still be mended into progressive law-Jaafar

COTABATO CITY – In an interview by Manila Bulletin on Friday (June 1), Bangsamoro Transition Commission (BTC) Chairman Ghazali Jaafar has appealed for more patience among stakeholders of the just-passed Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) versions.

Jaafar said that whatever will be the outcome of the Senate-House bicameral conference can still be mended into “progressive” law.

Many netizens have criticized and reacted to some amendments introduced in Senate BBL version (SB 1717) most particularly the amendments made by Senators Franklin Drilon and Ralph Recto.

 “I share that optimism from the context of the process being followed in Congress… The process has not yet ended (with the passage of the BBL last week). Of course everybody understand that the process started, in our case, as we (in BTC) wrote BBL - the proposed (enabling) law of the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro (forged by MILF and the government in 2014), ” Jaafar told Manila Bulletin during the interview.

Twenty-eight legislators, 18 from the House and 10 from the Senate, will form the Bicameral Conference Committee (BCC) tasked to refine the final version of the BBL that both chambers passed last week. Half of the bicameral “conferees” come from Mindanao, among them seven Moro representatives.

The task of the BCC is to “settle, reconcile or thresh out differences or disagreements on any provision of the bill.”

For his part, MILF Chair Al Haj Murad Ebrahim has acknowledged several substantive provisions have been deleted or amended in the BBL versions and is hoping the BCC could “correct” these.

“The struggle is not yet over. We are still hoping to correct those substantial issues either amended or deleted by both houses. We are still hoping improvements could still be done during the bicam (Bicameral Conference Committee deliberations),” the MindaNews online news network quoted Murad as saying on Thursday.

In the same article by Manila Bulletin, Jaafar urged critics against the BBL to refrain from further confusing the public and instead propose ideas that can make it beneficial to all stakeholders.

Whatever is the final outcome of the BBL in the BCC, it can still be refined into “progressive” law in an environment of “progressive” ideas and actions, Jaafar said as quoted by the Manila Bulletin. (Source: Manila Bulletin)