MANILA (Mabuhay) – The draft Bangsamoro Basic Law has been submitted to President Benigno Aquino III’s office, deputy presidential spokesperson Undersecretary Abigail Valte said Thursday.
In a text message, Valte said the Palace is just waiting for presidential peace adviser Teresita Deles’ statement on the matter.
Deles just said the peace process is “on track,’” and that further details on the Bangsamoro bill will be issued on Friday.
A separate report on the Moro Islamic Liberation Front website said the draft Bangsamoro bill was submitted to Aquino’s office on Wednesday night.
MILF chief negotiator and Bangsamoro Transition Commission chairman Mohagher Iqbal reportedly signed the cover letter of the draft bill, addressed to Executive Secretary Paquito Ochoa Jr.
“We are respectfully submitting the draft Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) … and we are ready to adhere to our understanding to work on the final text of the proposed BBL after its review by the President,” the MILF quoted Iqbal as saying.
Earlier this week, Deles said the draft Bangsamoro bill will be submitted to Congress by the end of August.
The Bangsamoro Basic Law will embody the comprehensive peace agreement signed last March by the MILF and the government, aiming to end the decades-long armed conflict in Mindanao.
The bill seeks to create a new Bangsamoro political entity that will replace the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM). The measure is expected to stipulate power-sharing and wealth-sharing arrangements between the national government and the new political entity.
The crafting of the Bangsamoro bill was stalled for weeks after Aquino’s legal team supposedly made changes to the draft submitted by the Bangsamoro Transition Commission.
Iqbal even said earlier that his peace negotiators will “lose face” if they accept the proposed law with the revisions made by the President’s lawyers.
Last week, Aquino’s advisers and the peace panels finally reached agreements on “crucial issues” in the draft law, paving the way for the bill’s submission to Malacañang. (MNS)