BBL passage to push through

By , on January 29, 2015


President Benigno Aquino III at the signing of the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro. Malacanang Photo Bureau
President Benigno Aquino III at the signing of the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro. Malacanang Photo Bureau

MANILA — There is no stopping the passage of the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL).

Despite calls to suspend deliberations on the said proposal following the clash in Maguindanao which left 44 policemen dead, the House of Representatives will follow its original schedule for the bill’s passage.

“We might run out of time (to pass the BBL),” Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr. said on calls to suspend deliberations of the House ad hoc committee on the BBL.

While he descirbed the killing as “abominable,” Belmonte said the death of the 44 Philippine National Police-Special Action Force (PNP-SAF) operatives in Mamasapano town last Sunday should not delay the bill’s passage.

The 44 PNP-SAF members were sent to the area to arrest  Zulkifli bin Hir, alias Marwan, a Malaysian bomb maker with a $5-million bounty from the US government and Basit Usman.

The arrest however failed as the policemen who were on their way to the area encountered rebels reported to be members of the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF).

Last year, a peace treaty was signed between the government and the MILF, but the breakaway faction, BIFF was not part of the treaty.

While there are no changes in the schedule, Belmonte said that the final draft of the bill “could still be influenced by the outcome of the formal investigation” on last Sunday’s clashes.