Friday, May 29, 2015

Deles trusts Congress will recognize urgency of BBL; bill hurdles House committee

Deles trusts Congress will recognize urgency of BBL; bill hurdles House committee

MANILA – Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process Teresita Quintos Deles lauded the House of Representatives Ad Hoc Committee for “acting decisively” on the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) and expressed trust that both chambers of Congress will work to respond to the call of the Bangsamoro for peace and development and will recognize the urgency of passing the bill. The leadership of both the House and the Senate have earlier committed to a June 11 deadline for passing the BBL.

Deles was present at the Congressional hearings where the proposed BBL was tackled by the House of Representatives Committee on Appropriations and Committee on Ways and Means last May 26, after which the bill will be forwarded to the plenary for debate.

“We trust that both chambers of Congress will respond to the call of the Bangsamoro and recognize the urgency of this piece of legislation,” Deles said.

“We of course thank the leadership of the House for acting decisively on the Basic Law,” Deles said. “Our Bangsamoro sisters and brothers have been asking for peace and development for so long, and we are happy that the members of the House have listened and responded to their call as true representatives of the Filipino people.”

“We saw how the Ad Hoc Committee, under the leadership of Rep. Rufus Rodriguez, recognized the need for and fought to retain the substantive parts of the BBL to address the Bangsamoro aspiration for genuine political and fiscal autonomy,” she recounted.

“We also saw how the House resolved constitutional issues in the bill without sacrificing the substance of the BBL and within the timetable they set,” she added. “We believe that the Senate can and will act on the BBL in a similar way.”

“We know this is what our people want, especially in the core territory of the Bangsamoro region. Recent survey results bear that out,” Deles pointed out, referring to a Social Weather Stations special survey within the proposed Bangsamoro core territory which showed both high approval rates for the BBL and high level of hope that the Congress can pass the bill.

“We know that this is the best chance we have now for achieving peace and security and for bringing development to Mindanao, which the region has sorely needed for so many decades already,” Deles added.
Deles also related that the approval of the Ad Hoc Committee of the draft BBL last May 20 already served to allay fears among local communities that hostilities might break out again if the BBL is not passed.

“Some local communities have told us that they have been growing afraid that violence might break out again if the BBL is not passed,” Deles recounted. “They take the approval of the BBL by the Ad Hoc Committee as a good sign, and they continue to have faith that the bill will be passed.”

“They are tired of war and violence. They do not want to experience being caught in the middle of armed conflict again,” Deles said. “I trust that our legislators will not fail them.”

President Benigno S. Aquino III has also stressed the urgency of passing the BBL, particularly in order to give time to the Bangsamoro Transition Authority (BTA), a 50-member interim government, to lead the envisioned Bangsamoro region.

Iyong bagong mode of governance diyan, huwag naman nating paabutin ng Enero kung kailan sila mag-uumpisa dahil pagdating ng Marso, election ban na, wala na silang magagawa. Tapos sasabihin ng taumbayan, ‘e wala palang silbi ito’,” he said.

“So, itinutulak natin, daanan nila, amyendahan nila kung dapat amyendahan, ipasa, iharap natin sa taumbayan, at magkaroon ng supisyenteng pagkakataon ipakita kung bakit mas mahusay itong iminumungkahing sistema nila,” Aquino added.

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