Where to now, Bangsamoro Basic Law?
The “move” to amend the Charter is overdue, but derailing the Bangsamoro Basic Law at this stage would be tantamount to relegating all the sacrifices and gains, made these past two years and more by the negotiating panels and the international facilitators in the Philippine government-Moro Islamic Liberation Front peace talks, to the “pending files” of some minor bureaucrat. Worse, it is tantamount to prolonging the social injustice to which our brothers and sisters of other faiths have been subjected for centuries; and holding back the economic benefits that a peaceful resource-rich island can immensely give to the nation.
A number of Philippine legislators and critics of the BBL are questioning the sincerity of the MILF partners in the peace process. The same doubts can be raised against the Philippine side, and justifiably, too.
The issue of the constitutionality of the BBL or parts thereof remains debatable as shown by the differing opinions of prominent former justices and legal luminaries. Hence, to delay legislative action would be a costly defeatist option.
In a nation abundant in lawyers, legal challenges abound.
—ALFREDO V. ASUNCION, [email protected]
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