Duterte’s mediation helped in BBL passage

Pres. Duterte with Bangsamoro leaders. (KNPSP image)

PRESIDENT Duterte mediated between members of the House of Representatives and the Bangsamoro Transition Commission (BTC) to help in the passage of the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) on Wednesday, Presidential Spokesman Harry Roque said on Thursday.

“He basically told everyone people we need to work together,” Roque said.

“I know that there are respective versions that each sector is pushing, but we need a version that is acceptable to all and will withstand the test of judicial scrutiny. Otherwise, baka wala talaga tayong BBL,” said Roque.

Among the contentious issues raised during the meeting was the creation of a separate Bangsamoro police and armed forces.

Roque said the President was firm in saying that he would not allow this provision in the proposed law.

“That is his bare minimum na hindi talaga pupwede,” Roque said.

Roque said Malacañang was pleased that both houses of Congress agreed to come up with a final version of the bill during the break after Duterte certified it as urgent.

However, Roque appealed to legislators to exert all efforts in ensuring that the final version of the bill would withstand judicial scrutiny.

“Kaya nga po kinakailangan repasuhin ‘yan sa [bicameral committee]. Iyan po ang huling pagkakataon para masigurado na it will withstand the test of judicial scrutiny,” said Roque.

The Spokesperson then allayed concerns that the measure could suffer the same fate as the Memorandum of Agreement on Ancestral Domain, which the Supreme Court declared unconstitutional.

p/rw: wjg