By Paulo C. Rizal, Davao Today Intern
DAVAO CITY – Bayan Muna Partylist Rep. Carlos Isagani Zarate called on wider public and educational discussions on the progress of the Bangsamoro Basic to encourage an informed decision among Filipinos.
Zarate told a forum organized by Kawagib Alliance for the Advancement of Moro Human Rights in Sangguniang Panlungsod here that “it is not enough to just vote yes to BBL, the public must also know what they are saying yes to”.
“The public should be aware what is being debated and not just be content in the slogans, ‘Vote Yes to Bangsamoro Basic Law,’ the public should know and vote yes to the provisions themselves,” he added.
The Partylist lawmaker commented on the ad hoc committee version of the BBL as “even more watered down and will not address the root causes of the problem in Mindanao and to some extent, is even weaker than the existing Republic Act 9054, the law that governs the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao”.
Zarate cites the absence of a provision for agrarian reform, which he said is present in the RA 9054 but is absent in the BBL. The BBL would become the legal framework to govern the Bangsamoro, a new political entity to replace the ARMM which Malacanang has admitted as a “failed experiment”.
He also mentions the removal of the phrase “to chart their political future through a democratic process” from the preamble, and “civilian authority is at all times supreme over the military” from Article 4, Section 4 among other phrases and provisions removed from the ad hoc committee version.
“We at the Makabayan Bloc and Bayan Muna call this BBL as Bigay Bawi Law. Why? It’s because during the negotiations, the CAB, powers were given. But here (Ad hoc Committee), it was taken back by the government. So what is that kind of autonomy? What will happen with that?” he added. (davaotoday.com)