BBL Will Not Be Enacted On Time

Update: The BBL is now a law.

The Congress of the Philippines may not be able to pass the BBL or Basic Law On The Bangsamoro Autonomous Region on the date set on June 11.

Congress will finish its interpellation on Wednesday, June 10.

Regardless of whether or not the (BBL) Basic Law On The Bangsamoro Autonomous Region will be passed before June 11, The MILF will begin the decommissioning or turn over of its firearms.

145 armed MILF fighters are scheduled to be decommissioned in a couple of days.

According to MILF Chief negotiator Monagher Iqbal, in the ceremonial decommissioning of its 145 armed members, MILF will also turn over 75 of its high powered firearms.

Decommissioning is the process by which the MILF fighters will no longer use and lay down their firearms in exchange for socio-economic programs and livelihood to be given by the government to the MILF fighters that will go back to their normal lives of peace.

The International Decommissioning Body is in the Philippines to verify the firearms to be turned over by the MILF fighters.

Monagher Iqbal said that although the exact date is not yet known, the MILF and the Philippine government already agreed where the firearms will be stored. It was also agreed that the (IDB) International Decommissioning Body will be the one to secure the firearms to be turned over by the MILF and not the Philippine government.

The exact number of firearms possessed by the MILF and the exact numbers of MILF fighters were known only to President Aquino. This fact was divulged by MILF Chairman Murad to President Aquino at the height of the peace negotiation.

The Decommissioning will be made by the MILF even if the Bangsamoro Basic Law is still pending approval in Congress because this is one of the conditions for the normalization agreement between the MILF and the Philippine government.

Christian Monsod, a member of the constitutional commission that drafted the 1987 Philippine Constitution, defended the version of the BBL submitted by the Palace and Bangsamoro transition commission to Congress. He said that if there are doubts as to the validity of some provisions of the BBL Law against the constitutions, allow the Supreme Court to decide on its legality.

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