Press Release
June 9, 2015

Drilon: BBL better, more acceptable without opt-in provision

Senate President Franklin M. Drilon today said that the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law will be "more inclusive, sensitive and widely-acceptable," if the opt-in provision will be removed from the peace measure.

Drilon's statement came after House leaders committed to altogether drop the provision which will allow the Bangsamoro territory to expand.

He said the proposal to delete the opt-in provision in the House of Representatives' BBL draft is "a positive development, insofar as the BBL's passage in Congress is concerned."

"The opt-in provision is a polarizing provision that only invites opposition, instead of support, to the BBL. I am glad that our counterparts in the House share the same view," Drilon said.

The Senate leader then vowed that he will see to it "that such a divisive provision will not be in any draft of the BBL which will be made and discussed upon by the Senate."

Drilon explained that the opt-in provision for the BBL will only fan mistrust between Muslims, Christians, and other sectors in Mindanao - especially from provinces near the envisioned Bangsamoro autonomous region which may be potentially affected by the provision.

"It will just enflame suspicions against the BBL, however unwarranted. It is certainly not conducive to have provisions like that at this stage when we are trying to overcome the many prejudices, misconceptions and apprehensions the public holds about the BBL," he said.

Drilon however, noted that in the eventuality that "there emerges a sufficient public clamor for the opt-in provision, then Congress in the future can move towards its inclusion as an amendment."

"Nothing will prevent lawmakers from amending the BBL when the day comes that the public demands the expansion of the. But today is not that day," he concluded.

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