11 April 2014 – As the Bangsamoro Transition Commission (BTC) gears up to finish drafting the Bangsamoro Basic Law, Akbayan Rep. Barry Gutierrez today arrived in Davao City for a Bangsamoro conference to discuss the processes and the challenges that await the proposed law in Congress.
As the guest speaker, Gutierrez explained how the Bangsamoro Basic Law will be treated in Congress, what are the processes it has to undergo and the possible struggles or obstacles to its passage, emphasizing the ‘long and intense debates’ that will emerge among the supporters and opponents of the law.
“After the Transition Commission finishes its draft of the Bangsamoro Basic Law, they will turn over the proposed legislation to Congress where it will be tackled as an ‘urgent bill’. And like any other bill, it will undergo a regular legislative process. There will be committee hearings, deliberations, possibly amendments in its provisions and voting among lawmakers. The proposed law will undergo the same process in both chambers of Congress before it will reach the President for approval,” Gutierrez said.
“We do not expect this law to pass Congress in breeze. In fact, we are already anticipating a long and tedious process and intense plenary debates on the proposed law,” he said.
Gutierrez served as Undersecretary for the Political Adviser at OP before he was elected as an Akbayan representative to Congress, the lawmaker has since expressed his strong support for the institution of a peace agreement through the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro (CAB), urging Congress to ensure ‘quick action’ on the law and ‘set the ball rolling for peace-building in Mindanao’.
“Our quest for a real and lasting peace must start now,” the lawmaker said in a statement.
“This bill is one of the most significant measure that will give teeth to the peace agreement, seal the deal and finally put an end to the decades of unrest here in Mindanao,” he added.
The Bangsamoro Basic Law is set to reach Congress on May as it resumes session.
The lawmaker reiterated the urgency and importance of the approval of the bill as a way for Mindanao and the rest of the country to finally ‘move forward’ towards peace and security.
“We should not lose sight of the end view of all these efforts we’re putting into making the peace agreement work–that is to conciliate and effect peace and secure it for the present and future generation of the Mindanaoans and the rest of the country. And this is something that we must seriously work on as soon as we can,” he said.
Attended by various regional and local leaders in their organizations, the conference was aimed to create a venue to discuss the political issues that will affect the government’s reform agenda as well as the peace process with the MILF towards the creation of the Bangsamoro.
The two-day conference held at the Grand Regal Hotel in Davao J.P. Laurel Ave, Lanang started today and will end tomorrow, April 12, 2014. It was organized by Office of the Political Affairs under the Office of the President (OP).
The first day of the conference was graced by Undersecretary Tom Villarin from OPA, SIMCARRD Trustee Atty. Luz Ramos and MILF Panel Negotiator Atty. Raissa Jajurie.
The result of the conference will be consolidated and will serve as an instrument in enhancing support for the government’s campaign for political reforms and good governance objectives.###