MANILA — Mindanao solons, both Christians and Muslims agreed in principle that they will pass Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) minus the unconstitutional parts, Cagayan de Oro City Rep. Rufus Rodriguez over the weekend assured the public.
Rodriguez, however, could not categorically tell the timeline because they were still waiting for the recommendation and results of the ongoing investigation being handled by different government agencies.
“Our signal to reconvene the members of the Ad Hoc committee on BBL is the report of Board of Inquiry of the Philippine National Police and other investigating government agencies,” Rodriguez said in an interview.
He denied rumors that they were no longer interested to pass BBL, saying that they were only forced to temporarily stop going line-by-line after they have conducted more than 30 hearings because most of the committee members asked to wait for the report.
He admitted that the Mamasapano fiasco, killing 44 police commandos of the Special Action Force (SAF) last Jan. 25, was the main reason for the eroding support.
“Nobody does not support peace. All of us, including Muslim solons want peace and this is the reason why we want to pass BBL,” Rodriguez said.
According to the panel chairman, they will give more weight to the investigation and recommendation of the Board of Inquiry being conducted by the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) of the Philippine National Police.
He said that he will not elevate this bill to the plenary until after they are sure that it is within the bounced of the Constitution.
Although Zamboanga City Rep. Celso Lobregat has said that there was a slim chance to pass BBL before Congress goes on recess on March 20, he assured that it would be passed but could not give their timeline.
“The Maguindanao incident really changed the equation, not only among congressmen but people from Luzon and the Visayas who were previously not paying attention to the BBL,” Lobregat said.
He said that proper amendments of the BBL was the only way to save the measure.
“The Mamasapano clash is an eye-opener for all peace-loving lawmakers on the changes that should be made in the Bangsamoro bill,” he said.