Drilon worries BBL lacks anti-dynasty provision

Published July 19, 2018, 2:00 PM

by AJ Siytangco

By Hannah Torregoza

Senate minority leader Franklin Drilon on Thursday said he is not confident that the consolidated version of the Bangsamoro basic law would be as effective as they expect it to be due to its lack of a powerful anti-political dynasty provision.

Senator Frank Drilon speaks during the Committees of public order and dangerous drugs and justice and human rights at Senate in Pasay city, July 26,2017. (Czar Dancel / MANILA BULLETIN)
Senator Frank Drilon

Drilon said both the Senate and House panel rejected this amendment he proposed to be included in the proposed Bangsamoro organic law.

“I am not optimistic that the BBL will result in good governance due to the rejection of my amendment to include an anti-dynasty provision similar to that found in the Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) Reform Law,” Drilon said.

The bicameral conference committee approved the BBL Wednesday night after a lengthy and marathon discussions on the provisions of the measure.

Drilon said he pushed for the inclusion of an anti-political dynasty provision in the BBL as an Ateneo de Manila University study showed that five of the country’s poorest provinces are in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) where political clans are rampant.

But lawmakers questioned why political plans would only apply to the ARMM provinces and not in other regions.

“So instead of blocking the passage of the BBL, I said, okay, even if without an anti-dynasty provision in place, I’m still thinking this might still bring about peace in the region,” said the senator in a Radio DZMM interview.

“But good governance? I’m not sure that the BBL will be able to bring about good governance in the Bangsamoro region precisely because there is no anti-dynasty provision in the proposed law,” he pointed out.

“The BBL is pro-peace peace and stability but it lacks teeth to reform the prevailing politics and governance in ARMM that resulted in its provinces being one of the poorest in the country,” Drilon said.

He said the absence of this very powerful provision could put to naught other measures that Congress has put in place to promote good governance in the Bangsamoro region.

Among them are the provisions that promote accountability by maintaining Commission of Audit as the exclusive auditor and tighten the qualification of Sharia’h courts justices.

The proposed law also gives the Bangsamoro government the power to create government corporations but subject to compliance with the provisions of the GOCC Governance Act.

It may also enact its own civil service rules that should be compliant with existing rules.

“Unfortunately, the future of the Bangsamoro region will be in the hands of a very few families again, because of our failure to prevent political dynasty,” Drilon said.