House Independent bloc prods Palace on Bangsamoro law

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Published : Tuesday, May 20, 2014 00:00

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THE House Independent Minority bloc led by Leyte Rep. Ferdinand Martin Romualdez has urged the Palace to submit to Congress the draft Bangsamoro Basic Law for scrutiny.

Romualdez said Congress is waiting for the draft as many members have already intensified their interest to study it further.

“Hanggang ngayon wala pa kaming draft bill, pero based on review of the annexes, we are looking for the possible infirmities or inconsistencies with the Constitution. Kasi sa tingin natin, based on a perusal of the annexes, ‘yung mga ibang provisions diyan hindi talaga makakapasa ng test of constitutionality kung hindi a-amyendahan ang Constitution natin ngayon,” Romualdez said.

He likewise asked the administration to consider the initial observation of the Philippine Constitution Association (Philconsa) that there are constitutional infirmities in the draft law.

During the meeting with the independent minority lawmakers, Philconsa chairman Manuel Lazaro said some provisions of the proposed Bangsamoro Law need amendments to the Constitution.

Lazaro questioned at least six points in the Bangsamoro Basic Law, two of these include the absence of the power of the Executive branch to bind Congress and Judicial departments – unless the Executive believes Congress and Supreme Court (SC) are its lackeys and the proposed wealth sharing as this seems not to be legal and a clear highway robbery.

Speaker Feliciano “Sonny” Belmonte Jr. said the leadership of the House of Representatives is still awaiting Malacañang’s word when to submit the Bangsamoro Basic law.

Meanwhile, House Majority Leader Neptali “Boyet” Gonzales II said the leadership is planning to create an ad hoc committee for the Bangsamoro bill to ensure a deeper scrutiny of the measure and orderly deliberations.

Gonzales admitted that the delay in the submission of the Bangsamoro bill would mean lesser time to tackle the proposal before it adjourns on June 13.

The Bangsamoro measure was an offshoot of the historic signing of the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro (CAB) by the Government Republic of the Philippines (GRP) and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) last March 27.

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