Requiem to Bangsamoro Basic Law

DANDAN BANTUGAN COLUMN

Here’s our requiem to the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) or the Basic Law on the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region (BLBAR), the most favorite legislastion that Pres. Pnoy wanted to be enacted by Congress.
This is a piece of legislation originated by non-lawyers who represented the Republic of the Philippines with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) cum Moro Islamic Freedom Fighters in talks sanctioned by Malacanang.
BBL used a lot of government funds through the Office of the Presidential Assistant on Peace Process (OPAP) which created quite a stir when it conducted a symposium at the MetroCenter Hotel late last year in tandem with a non-governmental organization.
What we really don’t known is why Pres. Pnoy has to kowtow to the whims and caprices of Mohaqhir Iqbal and his minions when it tried to created a new government within the Philippine government.
But lo and behold, its passage is now being doomed by our national legislators.
One of them is Sen. Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. who proclaimed to all and sundry that the BBL passage is now dead.
In a news article printed by the Philippine Daily Inquirer, Marcos said that it will take a miracle in order to have the BBL pass the legislative wringer.
He said that the BBL alias BLBAR is now dead considering that Congress “just run out of time” to pass it.
On the last session day of Congress last month, Marcos said that he just hoped the administration that would succeed Pres.Pnoy this year will be able to pass the measure, hopefully, sans the pressure from Malacanang.
In his requiem to the BBL, Marcos said that whatever happens to the proposed law, the government will have to continue the peace process.
Marcos, who is seeking the second highest post of the land, is the chairman of Senate local government committee tackling the measure that seeks to create a new autonomous region in Mindanao to replace the existing Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao.
Congress adjourned its session last Dec. 16 for a month-long Yuletide break without passing the draft law and sessions resume on Jan. 18.
Marcos said the proposed law was still in the period of interpellation, with Senate Minority Leader Juan Ponce Enrile just having done with his questions on page 4 of the 100-page measure.
While he believed that senators would still be able to work on approving the BLBAR, it will be a different case for the House of Representatives.
We have to take note that Congress will be having a short session this month and Congress cannnot get a quorum in the Lower House because 99 percent of the congressmen will be candidates or they will be campaigning,
Congress will only hold sessions for over two weeks—from Jan. 18 to Feb. 5. It will then go on a three-month break for the 2016 election campaign leading to election day.
Marcos also said the Lower House also has “strong objections” to the BLBAR. He also said he doubted the Senate will be able to pass it this month because of the argument of Sen. Enrile that the BLBAR was considered a “bill of local application” and as such, just like the budget bill, it has to get first the approval of the House.
Marcos said the rules are clear that any bill of local application needs to be approved in the Lower House and transmitted to the Senate before we can deliberate on it and then vote on it. He added that If this is really a local bill, we have to wait for the House version.
Thus, it is now tantamount to saying, goodbye BBL to the consternation of Sec. Teresita “Ging” Deles Prof. Miriam Colonel-Ferrer and their boss, Pnoy. Some wags call them as the Tres Marias.
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