Ignore Palace moves on BBL, House urged
LEYTE Rep. Ferdinand Martin Romualdez on Friday appealed to his fellow lawmakers to resist the pressure from Malacañang to pass the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law without subjecting it to a thorough debate and scrutiny.
Romualdez said the new December 2015 deadline set by the Palace for the BBL’s passage was an admission that the Aquino administration could no longer have the measure approved.
He made his statement even as The National Anti-Poverty Commission on Friday urged the leaders of the House of Representatives and the Senate to ensure the passage of a BBL that conforms to the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro and the Constitution.
The commission also urged Congress to consider the long negative effect of the armed conflict in Mindanao on the entire country.
“[The] long-standing armed conflicts and violence in the territories of the Bangsamoro had also affected the entire island of Mindanao and the whole country,” the commission said in a resolution.
Romualdez said the BBL should not be passed without having given lawmakers the chance to carefully review, study and scrutinize the peace measure and declaring that the bill was compliant with every provision of the 1987 Constitution.
“Lawmakers need more time to study the BBL because we want to guarantee that what we would be passing will be legal and constitutional,” Romualdez said.
Both the House and the Senate are having a hard time passing the BBL due to lack of time, and that has prompted senators and congressmen to agree on December as the new deadline to approve the measure.
But a House leader who refused to be named said the new deadline was just a “show” to project that the government was relentless in its commitment to approve the measure.
Zamboanga City Rep. Celso Lobregat, one of the BBL's critics, agreed there was no time to pass the BBL and have it enacted under the Aquino administration.
“Even if we pass it in the House, we still have to reconcile it with that of the Senate," Lobregat said.
He says he supports the proposed BBL provided its provisions do not violate the Constitution, adding he is also for lasting peace in Mindanao.