Press Release
May 20, 2015


Senator Teofisto "TG" Guingona III on Wednesday called on fellow legislators to ensure that the draft Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) "must be able to withstand any and all challenge as to its constitutionality."

Sen. Guingona issued the call as Congress tackled amendments to the proposed BBL. The draft will be submitted to the Senate as soon as it passes the scrutiny of Congress.

According to Sen. Guingona, the Constitution "remains the primary and supreme framework for peace negotiations."

"Both the power of the President to enter into peace negotiations and the mandate of the government peace panel are all based on the Constitution," Sen. Guingona said.

"The constitution is also the basis and the only reason why we can even talk about the creation of autonomous regions in Mindanao and elsewhere in the country," he explained.

Sen. Guingona warned that serious challenges to the constitutionality of the proposed BBL "can only result in greater instability in the Mindanao region, and put at risk the people's trust and confidence in the peace process."

He explained, however, that the spirit and intent of the agreements reached during the peace process should be maintained "while observing constitutional guidelines at all times."

"The proposed BBL is an in instrument in the peace process aimed at improving the life of the people in the areas to be covered by it," he pointed.

Sen. Guingona also cited the need for a BBL which is "both easy to understand and to implement."

"We have to keep in mind that we will have to submit the final draft to a plebiscite," he underscored. "It must therefore be clear and understandable in order to rally support," he said.

He also pointed out that the BBL "is intended to live longer than its authors."

"It is important that those who be left to implement it are clear as to the meaning and objectives of its contents," Sen. Guingona explained.

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