No definite timeline for BBL passage, says Senator Marcos

By Charlie V. Monforte

Senator Ferdinand Marcos Jr. has no definite timeline for a new “substitute version” of the Bangsamoro Basic Law that he wanted to pass in the Senate.

He is not even sure if the new version will be approved during the remaining time of the Aquino administration particularly before the May 9, 2016 election.

In a press conference Saturday at Park Inn Hotel in Davao City, the senator told reporters that he could “only tell the sequence” of legislating a new BBL version.

“I can’t say how long it will take, how long the discussions will be among senators and congressmen in Congress,” he said.

He added that he could have finish his committee’s report.

“If you know other groups that have not been consulted, tell me, the more info, the better,” he told reporters.

He said his committee has already conducted six committee hearings, adding that the hearings are finished but the discussions will still take a long time.

He reiterated his criticism to the way the BBL was made with the government panel “talking only with the MILF” and without considering the other sectors.

“Wala ang Christians, wala ang military, ang police, at iba pa, bibigyan natin ng panahon para makapagsalita ang ibang stakeholders (No Christians, there were no military, the police and others, we will give time for other stakeholders to talk,” he said.

He added that Congress will also consider those “within and around Bangsamoro” like the surrounding provinces and local government units.

He said that in formulating his substitute BBL he will focus on four major subjects, which are on: constitutionality, power sharing, economic provisions and administration.”

“The four major subjects are all important and need lengthy discussions, each provision having big effects,” he said.

It appears now there is yet a long way to go before the new, consolidated BBL version will see final passage in Congress even as Moro and peace groups have already started to criticize and oppose the emerging new BBL versions in Congress.

Marcos’ substitute BBL version once it is passed by his committee will then go to the plenary but there is also a Lower House version which would meet with Senate version which would then result into bicameral report and consolidated version before it will be taken up in plenary. (PNA)


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