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Posted on Monday Jun 8th at 5:27pm

By Patricia Lourdes Viray

MANILA, Philippines – Sen. Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. is considering to amend the organic act of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) as a substitute for the draft of the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL).

Marcos, who heads the Senate committee on local government, earlier rejected the draft BBL, citing that its provisions might reduce the sovereign authority of the national government.

With this, the senator vowed to prepare a substitute bill which would address the concerns of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front and other major stakeholders.

The senator noted that there were systemic weaknesses in the ARMM system, but its organic law has only been amended once.

“So what do we do? We fix it. There’s no need to throw out the baby with the bath water, as they say. We look at the system, see where the failings are, the weaknesses are, and fix those,” Marcos said.

Amending the ARMM law would address the issue of creating a new autonomous region in Mindanao. According to some legal experts, this provision does not comply with the Constitution.

Marcos stressed that the amendment of an existing law dispenses the argument of constitutionality.

The senator is set to start writing the substitute bill after the Congress adjourns on June 11. He will provide his committee members with a copy of his proposal for further studies.

He would start crafting the substitute bill by addressing the constitutional issues of the draft BBL. The senator vowed to produce a substitute bill that would also address the concern of major stakeholders and would be able to achieve long lasting peace in Muslim Mindanao.

“We are creating an entirely unique form of local government which we never conceived of before. And so that is why we have to be very very careful in what we are doing because we might cause more problems than we are trying to solve,” Marcos said.

Meanwhile, President Benigno Aquino III has expressed his willingness to discuss the draft BBL with senators.

RELATED: Noy waiting for Senate nod on BBL talks

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