House approval

-Bangsamoro Organic Law now in PRRD’s hands

THE HOUSE of Representatives yesterday ratified the Bangsamoro Organic Law (BOL), the first act under the leadership of newly elected House Speaker Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.


Due to a leadership squabble, the Congress failed to ratify the BOL on Monday in time for the State of the Nation Address (SONA) of President Rodrigo Duterte.


The 71-year-old former president and Pampanga representative was sworn in as the country’s first woman Speaker late Monday, following a power struggle with ousted Speaker, Davao Del Norte Rep. Pantaleon Alvarez.


President Duterte, during his third State of the Nation Address on Monday, vowed to sign the BOL once it is forwarded to his office.


“Give me 48 hours to sign it and ratify the law,” the President said as he will carefully read it first before signing as some legislators may insert provisions unfavorable to the people.


The Senate ratified the reconciled version of the bill ahead of Duterte’s SONA.


“Despite all that has been said [for] or against the Bangsamoro Organic Law by all sectoral groups, I make this solemn commitment that this administration will never deny our Muslim brothers and sisters the basic legal tools to chart their own destiny within the Constitutional framework of our country,” Duterte said.


The bill envisions to grant wider self-rule to the Muslim minority in Mindanao.


The law will establish a new autonomous political entity known as the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region, replacing the current Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM).


The BBL will set as precedence for federalism as pushed by the Duterte administration.