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‘We need to approve a legal, constitutional BBL’

  • Written by Ryan Ponce Pacpaco
  • Published in Nation
  • Read: 3410

HOUSE leaders reiterated yesterday their commitment to pursue peace talks with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) provided that justice is served to the “Fallen 44” and that Bangsamoro Basic law (BBL) would be legal and constitutional even if this may mean a watered-down version.
   
This was stressed by House independent bloc leader and Leyte Rep. Ferdinand Martin Romualdez, Abakada party-list Rep. Jonathan de la Cruz, Antipolo City Rep. Romeo Acop, Sulu Rep. Tupay Loong and Isabela Rep. Rodolfo “Rodito” Albano III after MILF chief peace negotiator Mohagher Iqbal told a Senate hearing the other day that a watered-down version of the BBL may not be acceptable to the Bangsamoro people.
   
“What we need to approve is a legal and constitutional BBL. A law that would pass all legal questions before the Supreme Court. Despite this very unfortunate Mamasapano incident, peace talks must proceed, but justice at the same time must be served first and that confidence-building measures are observed,” said Romualdez, a lawyer and president of the Philippine Constitution Association (Philconsa).
   
“We will just have to work out the best constitutionally acceptable law. After all, the BBL is not the end to attain peace and development in Mindanao and the entire country,” said De la Cruz, a member of the House independent bloc.
   
Acop, a retired general and former police comptroller during the stint of Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Director General Panfilo “Ping” Lacson, said peace talks are the only solution to the problems in Mindanao.
   
Loong, a former commander of the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF), agreed that talking of BBL which the 75-man House ad hoc committee on the BBL indefinitely suspended is not an issue right now.