Lawmaker wants BBL provision on area expansion removed
Roel Pareño (The Philippine Star) - March 13, 2015 - 12:00am

ZAMBOANGA CITY, Philippines – Rep. Celso Lobregat said the 10 percent opt-in provision in the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) must be stricken off as it could lead to the expansion of the territory to non-Bangsamoro areas in Mindanao.

Lobregat said under the opt-in provision, areas not part of the Bangsamoro may join through a petition from just 10 percent of the concerned barangays.

He said the provision would allow the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP) and Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) to include parts of Zamboanga City to be placed under Bangsamoro territory by drawing up supporters through its Sajahatra, a program created under the Office of the President and the MILF, which provides assistance to Muslim communities both under or outside the Bangsamoro region.

Lobregat said Mayor Ma. Isabelle Climaco-Salazar confirmed that the implementation of the Sajahatra cash-for-work program since February was not coordinated with the city government.

The OPAPP and the MILF have identified the barangays of Baliwasan, Cawit, Sta. Catalina, Recodo and Tulungatung as Bangsamoro communities.

Barangay officials vowed to file a protest against the inclusion of their areas in the Bangsamoro communities.

Salazar said the city and its 98 barangays are not part of the Bangsamoro areas.

“Definitely, this is a strategy. If you will tie that up to the 10 percent opt-in anytime provision, pretty sure they will concentrate first on a certain barangay – provide a short project to lure supporters and ask them later to file petition for the inclusion in the Bangsamoro,” Lobregat said.

Salazar also assailed the lack of coordination with the city government in the implementation of the Sajahatra cash-for-work program.

Lobregat said he would also bring to the attention of the House ad hoc committee deliberating on the BBL the possible anomaly in the cash-for-work assistance provided to the Bangsamoro communities in Zamboanga City.

Village officials have complained that they have not monitored the project or the target beneficiaries.

“This gives us more reasons to believe something is wrong with OPAPP. Definitely, I will bring this up again when Congress resumes deliberation of the BBL with the presence of the OPAPP,” he added.

Meanwhile, the House of Representatives ad hoc committee on the proposed BBL will resume deliberations during the congressional break next month, Cagayan de Oro Rep. Rufus Rodriguez said yesterday.

Rodriguez, chairman of the 75-member committee, sent notices to his colleagues that the panel would resume its executive sessions during the recess on April 6 and continue until the 16th.

He said invited to appear on the first day of the resumption of the hearings were Interior Secretary Manuel Roxas II, Philippine National Police officer-in-charge Deputy Director General Leonardo Espina, PNP Criminal Investigation and Detection Group Director Benjamin Magalong, Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin and Armed Forces chief Gen. Gregorio Catapang.  – With Alexis Romero

 

BANGSAMORO BANGSAMORO BASIC LAW CELSO LOBREGAT CRIMINAL INVESTIGATION AND DETECTION GROUP DIRECTOR BENJAMIN MAGALONG DEFENSE SECRETARY VOLTAIRE GAZMIN AND ARMED FORCES DEPUTY DIRECTOR GENERAL LEONARDO ESPINA GREGORIO CATAPANG HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES LOBREGAT SAJAHATRA ZAMBOANGA CITY
  • Latest
  • Trending
Latest
Are you sure you want to log out?
X
Login

Philstar.com is one of the most vibrant, opinionated, discerning communities of readers on cyberspace. With your meaningful insights, help shape the stories that can shape the country. Sign up now!

SIGN IN
or sign in with