MANILA (Mabuhay) — The Senate panel which is deliberating on the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) is set to transmit to the plenary its committee report on the controversial measure in the next two weeks to have it passed before the Senate adjourns sine die on June 11.
In a press conference on Tuesday morning, Senate President Franklin Drilon said that in his meeting with Sen. Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. on Monday, the latter agreed to finish the committee hearings on the BBL two weeks from now.
“In our meeting yesterday, he said that his committee is prepared to terminate the committee hearings in about two weeks time, so that we will have enough time to debate on the report before we adjourn on June 11,” Drilon said.
Marcos is the chairman of the Senate Committee on Local Government, which is tasked to deliberate on the BBL before it gets voted upon at the plenary level.
Marcos’ committee has been deliberating on the proposed measure since September last year, but the deliberations were suspended for about two months following the bloody Mamasapano incident on January 25.
Asked if he thinks the Senate can pass the BBL before the June 11 adjournment, Marcos said: “It is hard to tell.”
Marcos, however, promised that his committee will pass the measure as soon as possible, without railroading the deliberations on its contentious provisions.
“The question there is, what will happen at the plenary level? Kasi kahit maaga sa committee, kung mahaba ang magiging debate sa plenary ay mahirap masabi (kung maipapasa before June 11),” Marcos said.
“Basta kami sa committee ay gagawin namin ang lahat ng makakaya namin. We will not leave any issue unexamined. We assure all stakeholders that we will pass a workable BBL that can withstand the issue of constitutionality,” Marcos said.
Drilon, for his part, said he has already talked with the other senators and majority of them promised to help in the swift passage of the BBL.
“They (other senators) gave commitment to exert all efforts to pass the BBL at the earnest way possible,” Drilon said.
“We will allow every senator to express (his/her) views…deliberations will not be railroaded,” Drilon said.
The final report of the Citizens’ Peace Council on the Bangsamoro Basic Law was officially turned over to the Senate on Tuesday, May 5, through the chairman of Senate Committee on Local Government Senator Ferdinand Marcos Jr. and Senate President Franklin Drilon. Among the members of the peace council who drafted the report and present at the turn over is former Chief Justice Hilario Davide. JP Soriano
On Tuesday morning, Drilon and Marcos accepted a 50-page report from the Citizen Peace Council convened by Malacañang to review the provisions of the BBL.
In its report, the council said the BBL is generally constitutional but proposed the inclusion of additional phrases in some of the provisions.
The BBL aims to implement the peace pact between the government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) through the creation of a new autonomous region in Muslim Mindanao vested with expanded political and fiscal powers. (MNS)