BTC holds special session, agrees on modified draft Bangsamoro Basic Law

  • Monday, Sep 08 2014
  • Written by  Arland Abubakkar


The Bangsamoro Transition Commission (BTC) held a special session on September 7, 2014 at Mt. Mayon Hall, BSA Twin Towers Condotel in Mandaluyong City presided by Chairman Mohagher Iqbal with all thirteen members present, and at about 4:00PM, the commissioners agreed to indorse the modified or refined draft of the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) to President Benigno Aquino III, who will in turn transmit it to congress as urgent administrative bill.

Earlier in the morning, Executive Director Mohammad Suaib Ya’acob of the Bangsamoro Development Agency (BDA) presented to the commissioners a draft of the Bangsamoro Development Plan covering the period 2014-2016 and 2016-2019.

A day before, Chairman IqbaL briefed the commissioners on the events that transpired during their successive meetings with Executive Secretary Paquito Ochoa in Davao City and Manila that led to coming up with an agreed version of the BBL. Through power presentation, Commissioner Raissa Jajurie showed to the commissioners the contents of the modified draft BBL article by article without any comment from members of the commission.  

In those meetings between Chairman Iqbal and Secretary Paquito Ocho, Iqbal was joined by BTC Executive Secretary Mike Pasigan and Professor Abhoud Syed Lingga, a member of the MILF Peace Panel. The BTC prepared draft BBL submitted to President Aquino on April 22 was returned to BTC on July 21 and was heavily diluted by the Palace legal team which the MILF cannot accept.

The modified draft BBL with its endorsement will be submitted by Chairman Iqbal and Executive Director Pasigan to President Aquino.

A ceremonial program on the submission of draft BBL will be held at Malacanan Palace on Wednesday, September 10, where Speaker Feliciano Belmonte and Senate President Franklin Drilon are invited.  Some leaders of Mindanao’s indigenous people and CSO’s are coming to Manila to lobby for the early passage of the BBL, according to a source who requested not to be identified. President Aquino will personally submit the draft BBL to both Houses of Congress as a manifestation of his sincerest desire to put an end to the Mindanao conflict so that peace, prosperity and progress can reign in the region.

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