MANILA, Aug. 6 (PNA) — The Palace said it hopes that the government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) would soon agree on the draft of the Bangsamoro Basic Law to be submitted to Congress, so everything could proceed as planned.
Presidential Spokesperson Edwin Lacierda said in a press briefing on Wednesday that the Palace wants to see a draft law that is acceptable to both sides.
Secretary Lacierda was commenting on a statement made by House of Representatives Speaker Feliciano Belmonte that Congress might not be able to meet the December deadline for passing the Bangsamoro Basic Law, due to the delay in its submission.
“We would certainly still hope for the best. Our understanding also from Senator Frank Drilon is that he was working on a timetable from, if not the end of December, to the first quarter of next year,” Lacierda said.
“Certainly, we would hope that we can expedite the process, but it has not yet been submitted to Congress. And so, they are being realistic, for instance, on the timetable,” he said.
He however noted that everyone is conscious of the fact that the draft law is important and should thus be attended to as soon as it is submitted to Congress for deliberation.
He further said that even if the basic law is passed by the first quarter of next year, the government would still hold a plebiscite in the same quarter, then have the Bangsamoro Transitional Authority in place.
The next challenge will be capacitating the governance institutions and the governance resources in the Bangsamoro Juridical Entity, he said, adding that these will be given more emphasis as 2016 draws near.
The President has committed to the conduct of fair and democratic elections in the Bangsamoro in 2016.
Lacierda assured that despite the hurdles, both sides are moving forward, and foremost in the minds of the government and MILF panels is to ensure that the Bangsamoro Basic Law is just, fair and acceptable to all. (PNA)