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Duterte supports House version of BBL to break deadlock

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President Rodrigo Duterte has approved the House of Representatives’ version of the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) to break the impasse in the deliberation of the bill in the bicameral conference committee, Malacanang said Wednesday.

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said Duterte facilitated the passage of the BBL by convincing both the Senate and the House during his meeting with the lawmakers to adopt the latter’s version of the bill.

According to him, the House version provides that the six municipalities of Lanao del Norte and the 39 barangays of North Cotabato “could vote to join the BBL territory in a referendum to be conducted on the mother territory of the areas involved.”

The plebiscite and the additional areas to be included in the supposed Bangsamoro were the most contentious issues.

The proposed Bangsamoro Region will replace the existing Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) once the bill is passed into law.

In the Senate version, the six municipalities and 39 villages will be included in the Bangsamoro once majority of the residents vote for their inclusion.

“With the President’s intervention citing constitutional provisions and the decision of the Supreme Court in the case of Umali, the passage of the BBL has been assured. PRRD will sign the BBL law before the SONA (State of the Nation Address),” Roque said.

Duterte will deliver his third SONA on July 23 during the joint session of Congress at the House of Representatives.