Bicam approves final version of Bangsamoro Basic Law

The congressional bicameral conference committee on Wednesday night approved the final version of the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL), which was renamed as the Organic Law for the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao.

The bicameral panel, under the leadership of House Majority Leader Rodolfo Fariñas and Senate Majority Leader Juan Miguel Zubiri, was able to reconcile conflicting provisions of the landmark measure after six days of marathon hearings.

The BBL is expected to be ratified by both chambers on Monday, July 23, during the opening of the third regular session at 10 a.m., and be signed into law by President Rodrigo Duterte on or before his third State of the Nation Address at 4 p.m.

Zubiri noted that the approval of the reconciled version is one year after the Bangsamoro Transition Commission (BTC) submitted to the President the draft BBL.

Fariñas said while it was noteworthy that previous administrations tried to attain peace in Mindanao through peace agreements, those never came into fruition.

Fariñas, however, said the Duterte administration was able to reach this achievement in one year.

Anak Mindanao Partylist Rep. Amihilda Sangcopan said the final form of the BBL will provide Moros “something better than the status quo that is the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao.”

“We do not say that the BBL is the solution, but we had hopes that this will be one of the most important instruments to begin pursuing our long aspirations of just and lasting peace,” Sangcopan said.

The measure seeks to create a new Bangsamoro political entity that would replace the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM).

A copy of the reconciled version has not been released to the media. PNA