‘No Plan B for BBL’ – Belmonte

By , on January 5, 2016

Photo by Robert Viñas / PCOO
Photo by Robert Viñas / PCOO

MANILA – As the Congress resumes its session on January 19, House Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr. said that The House of Representatives will do all their best to pass the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL).

According in a report by Jess Diaz of the Philippine Star, Belmonte issued the statement after the Third Party Monitoring Team (TPMT), an independent international body that tracks the implementation of the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro (CAB), urged the government to prepare a fallback position in case Congress fails to pass the BBL, and said that the House has no Plan B and they are determined to pass the BBL.

The BBL draft started when the peace agreement between the government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) was signed in March 2014. Nine months after, the BBL draft was submitted to the plenary and was chaired by Cagayan de Oro Rep. Rufus Rodriguez.

The Congress adjourned for Christmas break on Dec. 17 causing the termination of floor debated on BBL, and the leaders of chambers was trying to set another date of voting on the measure of second reading.

Miriam Coronel-Ferrer, government peace panel chairperson, said that the Congress remains hopeful for the passage of BBL for the remaining six months of Pres. Aquino’s term.

But Isabela Rep. Rodolfo Albano III said that the Congress should not be pressured on what is the right thing for them to do. According to him, they will also be guided by what is prescribed by the Constitution and by what they think is the best for the people in Mindanao.

Albano also added that the Third Party Monitoring Team cannot dictate on what the Congress should do, and asks the government and the MILF to come up with Plan B in case the Congress will not be able to pass the BBL, but he said that there is still time to approve BBL.