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Senators commend peaceful, successful BBL consultations


Senators led by Senate President Aquilino Pimentel III commended the Western Mindanao Command for providing them security and safe travel to the provinces of Basilan, Sulu, Tawi-Tawi and Zamboanga City for the conduct of a two-day public consultation in connection with the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL).

Pimentel thanked Wesmincom chief, Lt. Gen. Carlito Galvez for the safety of the senators, their staff, members of the Bangsamoro Transition Commission (BTC) and their staff, and other local government units who attended the proceedings in four separate venues within the ZamBaSulTa area.

It was at the behest of Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana through Galvez who provided two C130 aircrafts, one foker plane, six UH1H military helicopters, two Multi Purpose Assault Crafts and land transportation for the immediate transport of the senate members and BTC commissioners.

Even with limited time, the public hearings have been realized, according to Pimentel.

Senator Migz Zubiri, who chairs the BBL Subcommittee, also thanked the military for supporting the government in its quest to find long lasting peace in Mindanao.

“I would like to thank the SND and the AFP leadership through WestMinCom for all the support extended to us. Kahit pa nung sa hearing sa Marawi and Cotabato, the AFP was all supportive providing security and transportation... maraming maraming salamat,” Zubiri said.

Recall, seven Senators headed by the Senate President and Secretary Jesus Dureza, Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process, conducted a series of public hearings on the Bangsamoro Basic Law in the ZamBaSulTa area from Thursday to Friday last week.

Also present were Senators Sonny Angara, JV Ejercito, Win Gatchalian, and Riza Hontiveros on the first day, while Senate President Koko Pimentel and Senator Cynthia Villar joined during the second day of the hearings.

The first day of consultations was held in Jolo, Sulu in the morning and Bongao, Tawi-tawi in the afternoon, with the different sectors of society attending.

Senator Zubiri said during his opening statement that having been born in Mindanao himself, he is well aware of the struggles the Bangsamoro people had gone through and he understands their needs.

“We need a long-term political solution that is only achieved with a new political landscape. I hope with the help of my colleagues, we will be able to pass this bill following our timeline,” he added.

Zubiri promised to do their best to have the law approved by end of March this year. (Elinor Fernandez)

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