TACLOBAN CITY-The passage of the controversial Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) will not only benefit the people in Mindanao but those in the Visayas and Luzon as achieving peace in Mindanao could attract more investors to the country.

Thus said Assistant Secretary Jennifer Oreta of the Office of the Presidential Adviser on Peace Process (OPAPP) who was in Tacloban on Monday as part of the campaign to solicit support from various sectors.

“It’s for peace and development. We are still in the take off stage is so far as development is concerned. But until now, we are still in the take off stage because the armed conflict in Mindanao is affecting the decisions of the investors to come to the Philippines,” Oreta said.

Oreta admitted that they are seeking support from the public, to, in turn, appeal to their respective congressmen to support the BBL.

They are hoping that the BBL could be pass by both the House of Representatives and Senate by June 11, the deadline President Aquino himself had set, the OPAPP official said.

But she clarified that while the President hope to see the passage of the BBL by June 11, at the latest, Mr. Aquino will not resort to “arm-twisting” among senators and congressmen and pass the proposed law on the said date.

Leyte 2nd District Congressman Sergio F. Apostol
Leyte 2nd District Congressman Sergio F. Apostol

“Both are independent bodies. He will not do that. The least he could do is to use moral suasion to influence them na kung kaya matapos by June 11, sana matapos,” Oreta said.

Leyte Rep. Sergio Apostol, considered the most senior among the region’s 12 congressmen, in a media interview said he would only accede for the passage of the BBL if some of its provisions will be amended like those pertaining of having its own audit commission; separate police organization and its own territorial provision which he described as short of giving areas identified under the BBL of independence and not autonomy.