MANILA — Senator Ferdinand Marcos Jr. on Thursday expressed optimism that the Senate will finish the Bangsamoro Basic Law before its self-imposed deadline early next year.
”I still think we can do it. More or less our timetable for the BBL is end of this year or beginning of next year,” Marcos said in a weekly Kapihan sa Senado media forum.
”We’re not in a rush but we’ll put in extra hours to make sure we get it done in the time the Comelec has given us,” he added.
Marcos, chairman of the Senate committee on local government, said the Commission on Election (Comelec) gave a deadline early next year “because plebiscite has to be conducted.”
”That’s going to be part of the implementation of any law and Comelec has explained that there is a deadline beyond which would be very difficult to hold plebiscite because they will also prepare for 2016 elections,” Marcos explained.
Marcos said he is confident that Malacanang would be able to submit the draft of the Bangsamoro Basic Law when the 16th Congress resumes for second regular session on July 28.
”We’re already started in the committee studying the Annexes because that’s all we have. So that when the basic law reaches us, we will hit the ground running and hopefully finish it before Comelec deadline,” Marcos said.
Marcos said the Senate “would have to hear everyone who wants to speak” in the proposed establishment of the Bangsamoro political entity in Mindanao.
”It’s not going to be a simple thing. So many issues have already been raised from the annexes alone. So we would have to hear from them,” Marcos said.
Senate President Franklin Drilon had given the Senate’s commitment to include the BBL in its priority agenda in the second regular session.