Duterte to certify BBL as urgent on May 29 – lawmakers

MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – President Rodrigo Duterte has committed to certify as urgent the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) by Tuesday, May 29, fast-tracking its passage.

This was announced in separate Facebook posts by House Deputy Speaker and Maguindanao 1st District Representative Bai Sandra Sema as well as Tawi-Tawi Representative Ruby Sahali late Monday night, May 28.

The lawmakers posted to Facebook after Congress leaders met with the President in Malacañang to resolve contentious provisions under the BBL. (READ: BBL needs a push from Duterte to become law before SONA)

“Alhamdulillah Bangsamoro, PRRD will certify [as] urgent BBL tomorrow. Tawfiq (Agreement) reigns in the heart of the men and women who are true to the quest of the Bangsamoro,” said Sahali in a Facebook status posted at 9:55 pm.

  

This was echoed by Sema, who dedicated two Facebook posts to announce Duterte’s commitment to certify the BBL as urgent the next day. 

“Patience pays off. Meeting is successful. BBL will be certified as urgent,” said Sema.

Both Sahali and Sema even took a selfie with Duterte at the end of the meeting.

House Majority Leader Rodolfo Fariñas said the more controversial provisions of the BBL – including the opt-in clause and the fiscal autonomy for the Bangsamoro region – will be reconciled by the House and the Senate in bicameral conference committee meetings to be held during the session break.

Congress adjourns session this week and will resume on July 23, Duterte's 3rd State of the Nation Address (SONA).

Fariñas said the bicameral conference committee report is scheduled to be ratified by both chambers in the morning of July 23. Duterte will then sign the BBL into law in time for his 3rd SONA at 4 pm.

The BBL is the culimination of a peace deal signed between the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) and the administration of President Benigno Aquino III. Aquino had wanted it passed before he stepped down, but a botched police operation in Mamasapano, Maguindanao, in 2015 derailed its passage. – Rappler.com

Mara Cepeda

Mara Cepeda writes about politics and women’s rights for Rappler. She covers the House of Representatives and the Office of the Vice President. Got tips? Send her an email at mara.cepeda@rappler.com or shoot her a tweet @maracepeda.

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