Probability of BBL passage dimming – lawmaker
Roel Pareño (The Philippine Star) - November 29, 2015 - 9:00am

ZAMBOANGA CITY, Philippines — The probability of the 16th Congress’ passing the controversial Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) is getting slimmer by the day, according to Zamboanga City First District Rep. Celso Lobregat.

Lobregat said there is no more time to pass the BBL, known in the House version as the Basic Law for the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region (BLBAR).

Lobregat said the House has only eight session days before the Dec. 18 deadline to tackle the measure, including what are deemed unconstitutional provisions.

He said after the Christmas break, Congress would resume on the third week of January next year but would adjourn again by the first week of February due to the election campaign period.

“The probabilities are very slim and it is getting more difficult to have it pass in this Congress considering that not only the House of Representatives will have to pass it, we have the Senate and the Senate version is very different from that of the House,” Lobregat said in reaction to the persistence of advocates and supporters of the BBL to pass the measure as is.

He said even if the House passes the BBL there would be a bicameral session to mend the conflicting provisions of the versions of the House and Senate.

Lobregat also disclosed that one of his reasons for dropping out of the mayoralty race in Zamboanga City and running for re-election is the unfinished business in the House, which is to monitor deliberations on the BBL.

“The reason I decided to concentrate on my re-election is because the BBL might not be passed by this Congress and would be taken up by the next Congress. So we have unfinished business,” said Lobregat.

Various peace advocates and civil society groups went to the offices of different lawmakers at the House of Representatives last Wednesday to appeal for the immediate passage of the BBL before the Aquino administration ends.

“We are here in Congress to call on our legislators to pass the BBL and continue the fight for peace in Mindanao,” said Urban Poor Associates main coordinator Luz Sudueste.

She said that poor people in Metro Manila sympathize with their Moro brethren for suffering from the decades-old war that spread poverty among Muslim residents and the passage of the BBL could end the suffering.– With Jose Rodel Clapano

 

ACIRC BANGSAMORO AUTONOMOUS REGION BANGSAMORO BASIC LAW BASIC LAW BBL CELSO LOBREGAT HOUSE HOUSE AND SENATE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES LOBREGAT LUZ SUDUESTE
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