BBL hearings shelved indefinitely by House of Reps

By , on February 10, 2015

Photo by Robert Viñas / PCOO
House of Representatives (Photo by Robert Viñas / PCOO)

MANILA – The hearing of the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) has been suspended for an unspecified period of time by the House of Representatives, in light of the massacre of 44 commandos of the Philippine National Police-Special Action Forces (PNP-SAF) in Mamasapano, Maguindanao on January 25

“We cannot meet our self-imposed deadline of endorsing our version of the BBL this month and having it passed by the House before our Lenten break next month because of this unfortunate incident in Mamasapano,” Cagayan de Oro City Rep. Rufus Rodriguez, chairperson of the special committee tasked with grafting the BBL, said yesterday.

“I even doubt if we can finish our work in the committee before our annual mandatory adjournment in June. We are no longer following any deadline or timetable,” he added.

The special committee has been meeting behind closed-doors over the last two weeks; drafting the House version of the BBL, after 36 public hearings and various consultations on the issue.

Rodriguez noted that the committee would gather today, in order to obtain reports regarding the Mamasapano massacre from various agencies.

“After that, we are suspending hearings and the work of the committee indefinitely until the results of two investigations are out so we will know what happened,” he said.

The chairperson was referring to the probes being conducted by the House committees on public order, peace and reconciliation, and national defense, and the Department of Justice (DOJ).

“We will also wait for the identification by the DOJ of those responsible for the death of our policemen and the filing of charges because we cannot have peace without justice. We will resume our work when justice is being implemented,” Rodriguez stated.