TACLOBAN CITY- Leyte Rep. Sergio Apostol expressed his reservations on the controversial Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) saying it contain some provisions that appear to contravene with the 1987 Constitution.Apostol, who once served as presidential legal adviser during the administration of former President and now Pampanga Rep. Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, cited five provisions of the BBL which he find highly questionable.However, the veteran solon representing Leyte’s second district, said that if these provisions stipulated under the BBL will be deleted or amended, it could pass in Congress
The provisions under the BBL which Apostol find legally infirm include its preamble as it mentioned “we the Bangsamoro people” rather than mentioning the phrase “we the Filipino people” as contained under the country’s fundamental law; creation of its own audit commission; having its own local separate Philippine National Police force; creation of its education department and the provision on its territorial jurisdiction.
Apostol also said that the P75 billion to be allocated once the BBL takes effect is a “very huge amount.”“If we approve the present constitution of the BBL it is no longer autonomy but being independent” said Apostol, citing the five provisions as reason. According to Apostol on April 20 they will have an executive meeting and try to submit their amendments The proposed law that would create the autonomous Bangsamoro Region is the product of peace negotiations between the government and Moro Islamic Liberation Front.
While before, the BBL was hailed as a possible solution to achieve lasting peace in Mindanao, its passage became a controversial and delicate issue after the killing of 44 members of the Philippine National Police’ Special Action Force(SAF) in Mamasapano, Maguindanao on January 25 this year.
Several congressmen and senators expressed their reservations, if not, total rejection of the BBL, notably among them is Senator Alan Peter Cayetano, one of the original authors of the BBL. Apostol also dismissed claims that if the BBL will not be approved, it would result to war.“They should stop threatening since the government and the MILF is trying to have a negotiated peace,” said Apostol.
(LIZBETH ANN A. ABELLA)