Press Release
April 6, 2013

Koko ready to draft Bangsamoro basic law

Senator Aquilino "Koko" Pimentel III, PDP Laban President, has offered his legal expertise and knowledge of the social, economic and political conditions prevailing in Mindanao to help in drafting the Bangsamoro Basic Law.

"As a son of Mindanao, I have seen firsthand the root causes of the poverty, joblessness and other problems that have spawned unrest in the region," said Pimentel.

"I believe that peace and prosperity in Mindanao is within our reach if we could up with an Bangsamoro organic law that reflects the true aspirations of Mindanaoans," added Pimentel.

Seeking reelection to the Senate in May under the Team PNoy coalition, Pimentel is a bar topnotcher campaigning against poverty, graft and corruption and poll fraud.

"There's a sense of urgency because the draft law would have to be approved by both houses of Congress first, signed into law by the President and then ratified through a plebiscite," said Pimentel.

"As I understand it, their timetable is to have the law in 2015 and the plebiscite in 2016. There's a lot of work to be done because we cannot just replace the ARMM with a Bangsamoro entity that would just be the same dog with a different collar."

A Transition Commission has been mandated to draft the Bangsamoro Basic Law which, when enacted, will abolish the present Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) and in its place create an autonomous political entity in Mindanao to be called Bangsamoro.

Mohagher Iqbal, the MILF chief negotiator and TC chair, has appealed for help in drafting the basic Bangsamoro law.

The commission would be conducting consultations in all communities to be affected by the planned abolition of the ARMM, including those in Basilan, Sulu and Tawi-Tawi, a commission member said.

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