Bangsamoro commission’s BBL version gets 90% approval

MANILA � The Bangsamoro Transition Commission's (BTC) version of the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) has been gaining tremendous support with at least 90 percent of the people on the ground approving its passage, an official of the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP) said.

I will report that the reception on the ground is about 90 percent said yes for the BTC version of the BBL, said OPAPP Assistant Secretary Dickson Hermoso in his talk during the culminating event of the DELACSE Bangsamoro project in Makati City on Feb. 16.

Hermoso said he based his assessment from the consultations conducted by OPAPP and other non-government and civil society organizations alongside Congress in the Bangsamoro areas in Mindanao.

We went out and the reception of the people on the ground, those will be affected by the new law, is tremendously supporting the BTC version of the BBL, Hermoso, himself a native of Cotabato, said.

Hermoso said he was elated by the remarks of former Chief Justice Hilario David Jr. and Associate Justice Adolf Azcuna that when they studied deeply the BTC version, they cannot find constitutional infirmities.

I'm one of the most affected. There is good in it. The political aspect is going smoothly. I hope there is no more Marawi or Mamasapano forthcoming. We are watching it closely, he said.

He was referring to the five-month siege in Marawi City last year and the botched Mamasapano police operation designed to arrest international terrorist Zulkifli bin Hir alias Marwan in January 2015.

The Mamasapano incident, which left 57 people including 44 police elite forces dead, had hampered the passage of the proposed BBL bill.

Hermoso admitted that the normalization process in achieving peace and development in Mindanao is tedious but we can move forward and hit the ground running once the BBL becomes a law.

He assured Bangsamoro groups that all their varying interests will be accounted for in the final version of the BBL as a means to deliver lasting peace in the region.

Walang maiiwan sa BBL (Nobody will be left behind in BBL) � those are the President's marching orders to OPAPP and BBL, Hermoso told the audience of the Bangsamoro stakeholders conference held by the DELACSE (Democratic Leadership and Active Civil Society Empowerment) Bangsamoro.

OPAPP Secretary Jesus Dureza said President Rodrigo Duterte, the prime mover of the BBL, is aware that the work for peace goes beyond signing of peace agreements, and achieving genuine peace warrants commitment in ensuring that all voices are recognized and heard.

It is a never ending work of engaging, involving, hearing out the people across all races, tribes, class, and location, Dureza said in his message read by Hermoso.

Dureza urged organizers and stakeholders of DELACSE Bangsamoro to be more active in a meaningful autonomous governance, emphasizing that the success of the Bangsamoro is a collective effort.

DELACSE Bangsamoro is a 13-month capacity-building project funded by the European Union (EU) and launched in April 2017 intended to prepare decision-makers and civil society leaders to be actively engaged in designing the new Bangsamoro political framework.

The civil society organizations leaders in the final conference have undergone seminars, workshops, and lecture series so they can contribute to comprehensive policy inputs in the proposed BBL and Charter Change.

Source: Philippine News Agency