Romualdez slams BBL draft delay

  • July 14, 2014
  • Written by Ryan Ponce Pacpaco
  • Published in Top Stories

OPPOSITION and administration House leaders expressed serious concern yesterday over the continued delay in crafting a “mutually acceptable” draft law on the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL).

Leyte Rep. Ferdinand Martin Romualdez, head of the House independent minority bloc, and Speaker Feliciano “Sonny” Belmonte Jr. said the failure of the government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) to agree on the final proposed law would mean “interruption” in the timetable of Congress to pass the draft bill.

Romualdez said Malacañang should not hostage lawmakers into passing the proposed law without the benefit of thorough scrutiny.

“Right now, my colleagues here will join me in saying, if anybody is doing great disservice to the peace process, it’s the Palace because they have promised our Muslim brothers, the Bangsamoro, that we will have this done as soon as possible, yet we are hostage here,” said Romualdez.

“Kawawa naman ang leadership, kawawa naman ang congressmen, and then you heap the blame on congressmen for delaying the peace process,” Romualdez explained.

For his part, Belmonte expressed hope that the two panels can reach a compromise agreement very soon especially Congress will resume sessions starting July 28.

“Their failure to agree on the final version of the proposed Bangsamoro draft law is a source of concern that they should address  with dispatch. They have to transmit to us the proposed law,” Belmonte stressed.

Romualdez said he cannot understand why the BBL is still being evaluated, studied and negotiated when it was already signed last March.

“Bakit pinirmahan pa nila kung kailangang i- review, dapat ipinadaan muna sa amin. Kalokohan na ang ginagawa ng Executive eh, sila lang ang  may alam, parating napapasubo tayo sa alanganin,” Romualdez pointed out.

Earlier, Romualdez asked Malacañang to address the constitutional  questions raised by the Philippine Constitution Association (Philconsa) in the proposed draft Bangsamoro bill.

Philconsa chairman Manuel Lazaro said some provisions of the proposed measure may be unconstitutional.

Lazaro questioned at least six points in the Bangsamoro Basic Law, two of these include the absence of the power of Executive to bind Congress and Judicial departments — unless the Executive believes.

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