Government, MILF panels eye submission of draft Bangsamoro Law to the President this month, says official

MANILA, Aug. 13 (PNA) — A Malacañang official said they hope that the government and Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) panels hammering out the draft Bangsamoro Basic Law could submit the proposal to the Office of the President this month.

Presidential Spokesman Edwin Lacierda said during Wednesday’s press briefing that Senate President Franklin Drilon and Presidential Peace Adviser Teresita Deles have discussed the issue.

“The idea is really to submit it on or dito nga sa month ng August,” Lacierda said, adding that Senator Drilon wants Congress to pass the draft law by the end of December or until the first quarter of next year.

He said that based on a statement they recently issued, both panels intend to submit the draft to the Office of the President by August 18 and hopefully, it could be forwarded to Congress by the end of August.

Lacierda said that while the Palace would like the draft law to be passed by the end of the year, Senator Drilon has been looking at the first quarter as also a possible deadline for the passage of the Bangsamoro Basic Law.

Given the current time constraints, he said it is still possible to go through the timetable, particularly the holding of a plebiscite, the formation of the Bangsamoro Transitional Authority, and the formation of a regional government to be synchronized with the national elections in 2016.

On concerns that the delay in the passing of the draft Bangsamoro Basic Law could lead to apprehensions on the ground, Lacierda said the MILF is well aware that both sides are committed and working hard to complete the draft.

“The MILF is also familiar that both parties are working steadfastly on making sure that the Bangsamoro Basic Law will be submitted to Congress,” he said.

“This is not a decision that was unilaterally made by just the government panel. Both parties agreed on a certain date, hopefully, to submit to the Office of the President,” he added. (PNA)