Mindanao lawmaker wants all BBL hearings be made public

May. 11, 2015

DAVAO CITY — Militant lawmaker from Mindanao said all hearings on the Bangsamoro Basic Law should be public as she expressed misgivings at the confidentiality of the amended draft distributed to lawmakers.

Gabriela Women’s Party Representative Luzviminda Ilagan said “(d)raft bills and their amendments are all public documents. I am lost as to why the amendments contained in the BBL are marked confidential.”

Ilagan said the objective of attaining peace “becomes distant when deliberations are conducted without transparency.” She asked whether there is something that should be kept from public scrutiny.

Ilagan also said she wanted large-scale mining ban, protection of ancestral lands, agrarian reform assured in BBL.

“The promise of peace will not hold water if the BBL will not assure the protection of Bangsamoro ancestral lands from large scale corporate mining exploration and the implementation of genuine agrarian reform,” she said.

“Peace will never be attained for as long as the roots of social injustice remain. For the Bangsamoro, the recognition of their right to self-determination may be recognized through the implementation of an agrarian reform program that will primarily benefit indigenous Bangsamoro families and not just favored entities or multinational corporations that will exploit the resources of the Bangsamoro,” Ilagan said.

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