Akbayan lawmaker: House ready to work ‘overtime’ to ensure ‘inclusive peace’ a reality in the creation of Bangsamoro

A lawmaker on Monday expressed support to the passage of the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL), saying that the leaders and members of the House of Representatives are ready to work ‘overtime’ to ensure that “inclusive peace” will finally become a reality in the creation of the Bangsamoro.

“We are ready in Congress to provide the necessary legislative intervention that will give statutory “teeth” to the historic agreement aimed at building a just and enduring peace in Mindanao after decades of armed struggle,” Akbayan Rep. Barry Gutierrez said.

The statement was released after it was announced that the Ad Hoc Committee, created by the House of Representatives to tackle the 122-page draft Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL), will convene on Tuesday morning for its first organizational meeting.

The meeting will discuss the ground rules and the schedule of hearings, including setting dates for consultations with stakeholders for the Bangsamoro Basic Law.

On Monday evening, the bill has been read on the floor and referred for deliberation to the Ad Hoc Committee on the Bangsamoro Basic Law.

The committee, chaired by Cagayan de Oro Rep. Rufus Rodriguez, will “review, evaluate and propose legislation relative to the comprehensive agreement on the Bangsamoro.”

“The House [of Representatives] is determined to enact this proposed law, which we believe would pave the way to a long-term stability, reconciliation and development in Mindanao,” Gutierrez said.

House Bill 4994, or the Bangsamoro Basic Law, provides the legal framework to the implementation of the peace accord signed in March between the government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF).

When enacted and publicly ratified, House Bill 4994, or the Bangsamoro Basic Law, will establish a new political entity, to be known as “Bangsamoro”, that will replace the Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao (ARMM).”

Inclusive peace

Gutierrez also reiterated his call to Congress to ensure that the rights and welfare of the indigenous peoples (IPs) living within the bounds of the Bangsamoro are duly protected and promoted.

“There is a need to make certain that the rights and freedom of the other indigenous groups and individuals are respected and promoted, and assured of their equal opportunities in their conduct of life within the Bangsamoro,” the Gutierrez concluded.###


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