Senator Ferdinand Marcos Jr. said Wednesday his proposed substitute bill on the Bangsamoro Basic Law will ensure a smooth transition from the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao to the proposed Bangsamoro government even if the bill was not approved by October this year.
Marcos, chairman of the Committee on Local Government tasked to deliberate on the BBL, said earlier he would file the committee report on the substitute BBL on Monday but stressed he could not predict how long it would take the Senate to approve the measure.
“Once it is out of my committee it is out of my control,” Marcos said in a statement.
“It is up to the Senate, up to the House and the bicam [bicameral conference committee]. I will not make promises I cannot fulfill or have no right to make.”
If the BBL is not approved in time for the filing of certificates of candidacy on Oct. 12 to 16 this year, the ARRM elections will be held alongside the May 9, 2016 national and local elections.
“Kung wala pang BBL, magpapa file ang members of the assembly to run again for the ARMM assembly because the Bangsamoro government does not exist by then,” Marcos said.
He said the situation would become complicated if the BBL was approved after the ARMM elections were held, or when the official campaign period for ARMM had started, since the BBL called for the abolition of the ARMM.
“Once the BBL is enacted into law, ARMM will be abolished and the Bangsamoro government will then sit in the form of a transition authority. Isinama na namin sa transition authority ang mga elected ARMM assemblymen so the phase out of ARMM is not too sudden,” Marcos said.
Likewise, Marcos said, he could not guarantee the enactment of BBL within the term of the current administration. He noted that legislative deliberations were unpredictable, and that several groups had vowed to challenge the measure before the Supreme Court once it became law.