Friday, May 29, 2015

Malacañang wants essence of autonomy in Bangsamoro draft law preserved May 28, 2015

From the Website of the President

Malacañang wants essence of autonomy in Bangsamoro draft law preserved May 28, 2015
A Palace official on Wednesday said the essence of autonomy in the draft Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) should be preserved.

Deputy Presidential Spokesperson Abigail Valte was reacting to the report of the Senate committee on constitutional amendment and revision of codes, stating that the BBL should be “substantially revised” to overcome legal scrutiny at the Supreme Court.

Twelve senators, led by committee chairperson, Miriam Defensor-Santiago, have signed the report that was submitted to Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos, Jr., who chairs the Senate committee on local government discussing the proposed measure.

“We have always been of the position that we want the essence of autonomy preserved. We feel that it is a viable vehicle to achieve just and lasting peace in Mindanao, and we are strongly supportive of measures that would keep the spirit of autonomy in that particular piece of legislation. Whether it is a setback, we would have to gauge what that particular concept or provision would be,” Valte said during the daily press briefing.

The Palace official also recognized the challenges facing the draft BBL, which was passed by the House of Representatives ad hoc committee last week.

“We are not alien to challenges, especially when it comes to the process that we have been undergoing for the BBL. And, as the President said, he is waiting for word, should it be required that he meet with the senators to flesh out positions when it comes to the BBL,” she said.

“We have always said that we recognize the independence of both Houses of Congress, and that they can propose amendments to any piece of legislation that we work with them. So, at this point, we look forward to the opportunity to continually discuss the administration’s position on the BBL with the senators,” she added.

President Benigno S. Aquino III had a meeting with the House ad hoc committee members prior to the passage of the bill and earlier this week, the President also expressed his willingness to meet up with the senators to explain the draft law on the Bangsamoro.
When asked if a dialogue with the President would convince the senators to change their mind, Valte said, “We are optimistic that the President can aptly put forth the position of the government when it comes to the BBL.”

The senators who signed the committee report were Santiago, Marcos, Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III, Vicente “Tito” Sotto III, Sonny Angara, Teofisto Guingona III, Gringo Honasan, Lito Lapid, Cynthia Villar, Jose “Jinggoy” Estrada, Ralph Recto and Alan Peter Cayetano.
Those who did not sign were Antonio Trillanes IV, who is out of the country, and detained Senator Juan Ponce Enrile, who, according to his staff, has not studied the matter fully.
Office of the President Website

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