Friday, June 5, 2015

“We’re not abandoning BBL”: House Speaker Belmonte

From the Website of MILF

“We’re not abandoning BBL”: House Speaker Belmonte

“We’re not abandoning BBL”: House Speaker Belmonte

On Wednesday, June 3, House Speaker Feliciano Belmonte, Jr. said that they are “not abandoning the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) and expressed confidence that the House of Representatives was on track to meet its June 11 target of passing the bill creating a new Bangsamoro region in Mindanao in spite of lengthy floor deliberations.

“No, we’re not abandoning it. We will let everybody ask questions, but not the repetitive questions,” he told reporters in a chance interview.

As of Wednesday, more than 30 members of the 289-strong chamber had asked to be given the chance to raise questions about the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL), most of them belonging to the majority.

However, Belmonte noted that the chamber had set three extra days for the plenary debate, and he remained hopeful the interpellation would be completed within two weeks.

On his part, Minority Leader Ronaldo Zamora said it “looks like they can’t make it.”
“That’s from my point of view. Many more are asking to be included. I don’t think it’s possible but I can’t blame the Speaker for trying to stay optimistic,” he told a forum.
Rep. Zamora said at least 20 interpellators were coming from the majority coalition. “People are now taking a closer look and they’re finding things they need to ask questions about,” he said.

Bayan Muna Rep. Neri Colmenares said he did not see why the House should rush passing the draft BBL when the Senate leadership had already put it off for October.
One likely bone of contention is the controversial “opt-in” provision allowing contiguous areas to join the new Bangsamoro entity through plebiscites in the fifth and 10th year upon passage of the law.

Asked if he expected compromises between the majority and minority on contentious provisions, Belmonte said it was too early to talk about that.

“In the course of the debate, you will find certain things that are acceptable or unacceptable. We cannot just sit down and say this or that is not acceptable,” he said.
Zamora said the floor debate would determine which particular provisions really had resonance among the lawmakers.

“If they see there’s a problem with the opt-in provision then they may accept our proposal on the opt-in, which in my case, is to exclude it entirely,” he said.