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House Speaker Alvarez: No problem with passage of Bangsamoro law

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There will be no problem with the passage of "one Bangsamoro law" in the House of Representatives, as long as the provisions will not run counter to the provisions of the Constitution, according to Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez.

In a press conference at Grand Astoria Hotel, yesterday morning, Alvarez said they're only waiting for the draft provisions to be submitted by the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP) Secretary Jesus Dureza to Congress.

"Inaayos pa nila ngayon and what I understand, tuloy-tuloy pa ang technical working group to come up with the drafts," Alvarez told local reporters.

Alvarez added, he expects the new and expanded Bangsamoro Transition Commission (BTC) to come up with "clean a provisions".

"Inasahan ko na talagang malinis 'yung provisions na walang provisions doon na puwede nating sabihin na un-constitutional unlike the previous drafts parang maraming kinukwestyon doon hindi lamang ng mga lawmakers pati na rin ng group of lawyers." He said.

Four pending major issues the House Speaker will have to resolve first before the House and the Senate pass the so-called one Bangsamoro law.

These include the 1996 Final Peace Agreement with the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) which is a continuation of the 1976 agreement and the 2014 Comprehensive Agreement Bangsamoro with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), a continuation of the 2012 Framework Agreement on Bangsamoro (FAB).

"Kami naman sa kongreso we have to see to it na kung ano 'yung ipapasa namin ay papasa sa constitutional test. Otherwise, if somebody files a question before the Supreme Court at sasabihin unconstituional iyan eh di mapapahiya naman kami," Alvarez underlined.

Alvarez, however, said he has not seen any unconstitutional provisions because there is no present bill yet filed in Congress Zamboanga City 1st District Congressman Celso Lobregat backed Alvarez, saying that "as long as there there are no provisions that are unconstitutional there will be no problem with the passage of Bangsamoro law.

Reiterating that he is always for peace and not anti-peace, Lobregat said "we need a BBL or basic law that is fair that is just, that is acceptable, feasible and most important consistent with the constitution and existing laws."

Lobregat said that there are many unconstitutional provisions in the existing Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) which need to be fixed and cleaned.

"Kaya nga hindi pumasa sa kongreso at sa senado so, sana naman matutuo sila itong bagong Bangsamoro  Transition Commission, learn from the past and do not include provisions that are unconstitutional," he added.

"As long as there are provisions that also protect the areas that do not want to be part of the Bangsamoro at least to be fair so if that is the case there is no problem with the passage," Lobregat said.

Early last year, President Rodrigo Duterte committed to implement all previous signed peace agreements with the MNLF and MILF in step with constitutional and legal reforms.

He also acknowledged to certify for urgent the passage in Congress only one draft Bangsamoro law.

One of the President's major peace roadmaps for the Bangsamoro is the consolidation and converge of all peace agreements and legislations, the "parking" of constitutional issues in the proposed enabling law for inclusion in the deliberations for the shift to federal system. Hader Glang




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