Photo courtesy by: BTC Secretariat

New BBL draft reflects the interest of all Bangsamoro sectors: BTC Chair Jaafar

The new draft Bangsamoro basic Law (BBL) recently completed and signed by members of the Bangsamoro Transition Commission (BTC) is truly democratic and reflective of the interest of the people, not only of the Bangsamoro but also of the indigenous people, Christians and other stakeholders, BTC Chair Ghazali Jaafar said.

"This is a truly democratic BBL. It represents the interest of all the stakeholders in holders in area -- of course, the Muslim Bangsamoro people, the non-Bangsamoro indigenous community, the Christians, traditional leaders, women, youth," he told ANC on Tuesday (June 20).

Jaafar said some provisions of the previous BBL have been included in the new draft because they are considered necessary.

He also clarified that the Bangsamoro police force will be a separate entity from the Philippine National Police (PNP).

"In order for the Bangsamoro government to effectively operate to protect themselves, it has to have security, of course, in consultation with our consultant or expert on the issue of security. We believe we did some very significant improvement. These consultants are retired generals in PNP and lawyers," he said.

Meanwhile, long time peace advocate Fr. Eliseo Mercado Jr. also told ANC that he hopes Congress takes the proposed draft seriously.

"The first challenge the government has to face is to reconcile the new draft of BBL ... with the MNLF track, because they are also submitting to the Presdident the amendatory law," Fr. Mercado told ANC, citing proposed amendments to the 1996 Final Peace Agreement.

"Hopefully this time, with this reconciled proposed legislation, Congress will be able to act appropriately," he added.

In a latest development, the Office of the President has informed the leadership of BTC that the schedule of submission of draft BBL is moved to July 10.