Senators see prioritizing BBL over Cha-cha

Published January 16, 2018, 10:00 PM

by Mr. Fu

By Mario Casayuran and Hannah Torregoza

The proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) has more chances of being passed by Congress than proposals to amend the 31-year-old Constitution.

This was the assessment by Sen. Panfilo M. Lacson of the fate of the BBL.

And Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon said he agrees with President Duterte’s earlier position that the immediate passage of the BBL is more important and should be prioritized.

Their opinions were raised despite the insistence of House lawmakers to pursue amendments to the 1987 Constitution to pave the way for the shift to a federal form of government.

Lacson cited the urgency and importance of the BBL to the political lives of Muslims and indigenous peoples (IPS) in the Muslim-dominated provinces in Mindanao.

“Parang may urgency dahil baka magkagulo,” he added. (There is a sense of urgency as there might be bloody repercussions).

“We are in support of the enactment of the Bangsamoro Basic Law. Like the President, we must just ensure that it is consistent with our constitution,” Drilon told reporters in an interview before the Senate’s 3 p.m. session yesterday. “Priority ang BBL; that’s what I understand from the President,” he said.

Drilon noted that the President has found an urgency in enacting the BBL for peace and stability in Mindanao.

The passage of the BBL had been sought by Muslim leaders in the Muslim-dominated areas of Mindanao, but suffered a setback when the January 2015 Mamasapano (Maguindanao, Mindanao) massacre took place.