GMA to withdraw her version BBL in favor of the new draft

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DAVAO CITY, Philippines —- Former President, now Congresswoman Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo will withdraw her version of the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) and support teh new version of the draft bill pending in Congress.

Presidential Assistant on Peace Process Secretary Jesus Dureza, in a a press statement Wednesday said Arroyo, in a phone conversation with him and Kagi Al Haj Murad “committed to support the BTC-drafted version that Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez authored.”

Arroyo earlier authored a bill that seeks to create a new Bangsamoro region, a Basic Act on the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region

Quoting Arroyo, Duterte added “She said she would withdraw authorship of her previously signed bill to fast track the approval of the new version. Senate Sub-Committee chair Senator Miguel Zubiri, who was then in London, also said the Senate would act on the bill before Congress adjourns “sine die” on May 15 this year.”

President Rodrigo Duterte shares light moments with Pampanga Congresswoman Gloria Maca[agal-Arroyo . -Robinson Niñal/PPD photo
President Rodrigo Duterte has repeatedly said that failure to address the concerns of Bangsamoro people, who are rooting for his administration to pass the BBL, might lead to more trouble in restive Mindanao.

On Tuesday, March 27, 2018, Duterte met with MILF chairman Al Haj Murad Ebrahim, BTC chair Ghazali Jaafar, and MILF peace panel chair Mohagher Iqbal, to update them on the status of the BBL,

The meeting according to Dureza, was upon request of the MILF leaders, President Duterte met with them in Matina Enclaves.

“This is part of the previously agreed arrangement that there will be periodic and regular meeting of both sides as efforts for the eventual passage of the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) are underway in both the House of Representatives and the Senate,” Dureza stressed.

During the meering Dureza said, Duterte reiterated “His continuing and consistent desire and commitment to install the enhanced government structure and governance that will hopefully solve the root causes of the Moro rebellion and address the historical injustice suffered by the Bangsamoro over generations.”

The President, according to Dureza vowed to assist even to the extent of relaying to both chambers of Congress his determination to help push for the passage of the BBL that is compliant with the Comprehensive Agreement of the Bangsamoro and as close as possible to the new draft law submitted by the Bangsamoro Transition Commission.

Duterte also told the group, “In the event this does not take place in Congress, he said he would go to the extent of even exercising his residual powers thru administrative directives to fulfill this commitment,” Dureza added.

During the meeting, Duterte emphasized “The “inclusive” character of the new BBL where all tribes and sectors, including non-Muslims, will benefit from the new BBL when it is finally entrenched.”

Murad said the never doubted the sincerity of President Duterte in his commitments.

“If this does not get done during the presidency of President Duterte, we seriously doubt if we can do it at all, in the future. President Duterte is now our only and last card,” Kagi Murad said, according to Dureza.-Rey Nuñez/Newsline.ph

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