Duterte to sign BBL before SONA

Arianne Merez, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jul 11 2018 06:14 PM

President Rodrigo Duterte (center) poses with Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process Jesus Dureza (left), Al-Hajj Murad Ebrahim (2nd left), chairman of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), Ghazali Jaafar (2nd R), vice-chairman of the MILF and Mohagher Iqbal (right) on July 17, 2017. Ted Ajibe, Agence France-Presse/File

MANILA- President Rodrigo Duterte will sign the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) before he delivers his third State of the Nation Address (SONA) later this month, Malacañang said Wednesday.

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said Duterte has convinced the two chambers of Congress to adopt the House of Representatives' version of the bill.

Both houses of Congress approved in May their respective versions of the proposed BBL after Duterte certified the bill as urgent.

The said version provides that the six municipalities of Lanao Del Norte and 39 barangays of North Cotabato could vote to join the BBL territory in a referendum to be conducted on the mother territory of the areas involved, Roque said.

"With the President’s intervention citing constitutional provisions and the decision of the Supreme Court in the case of Umali, the passage of the BBL has been assured," he said in a statement.

The BBL, enabling law of the 2014 peace deal between the government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front, will install a Bangsamoro political entity in place of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM). 

It is envisioned to grant wider self-rule to predominantly Muslim provinces and cities.

Duterte is banking on the bill's passage to heal "historical injustices" suffered by the Moros.

The bill failed to pass under the previous administration as some provisions faced questions on constitutionality.