Senate ratifies bill on Bangsamoro Organic Law

enablePagination: false
maxItemsPerPage: 10
totalITemsFound:
maxPaginationLinks: 10
maxPossiblePages:
startIndex:
endIndex:

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, July 23) — Hours before President Rodrigo Duterte's third State of the Nation Address on Monday, the Senate ratified the proposed Bangsamoro Organic Law, which creates the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao.

The House of Representatives has yet to do the same.

Duterte, the first President who hails from Mindanao, earlier certified the bill as urgent, prompting Congress to fast-track its passage. The bicameral conference committee approved the final version of the bill on July 18.

Officials said the President may sign the Organic Law for the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (OLBARMM) before his SONA. He may even sign it during his speech, becoming the first President to pass a law during the annual address.

The OLBARMM will replace the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) established in 1989 through Republic Act 6734. The ARMM groups the provinces of Basilan, Lanao del Sur, Maguindanao, Sulu and Tawi-Tawi.

According to the OLBARMM, a plebiscite will be held within three to five months after the President signs it into law. The plebiscite will determine if 39 barangays in North Cotabato, six municipalities in Lanao del Norte, and the cities of Cotabato in Maguindanao and Isabela in Basilan will be included in the proposed Bangsamoro territory.

The OLBARMM is the result of peace talks between the government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF).

The proposed law institutionalizes provisions of the Comprehensive Agreement on Bangsamoro, the 2014 peace agreement signed with the MILF.

The Bangsamoro government will be parliamentary-democratic in form, a first in the country's political history. It will be headed by a regional leader called Chief Minister, who will preside over an 80-member parliament.