Duterte pressed on BBL draft as priority measure

Malacañang said Tuesday President Rodrigo Duterte will certify the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law as urgent “anytime soon.”

“The President promised to certify it,” Presidential Spokesman Harry Roque told reporters.  

In other developments:

The Senate has again asked Duterte to certify the BBL as urgent.

In a letter to the President, newly elected Senate President Vicente Sotto III and Majority Leader Juan Miguel Zubiri said the Senate intended to pass on third reading Senate Bill 1717, or “An Act Providing for the Basic Law for the Bangsamoro and Abolishing the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao” before it goes to sine die adjournment on June 2.

“We are hoping for your usual support as we work for the prompt passage of this law,” Sotto and Zubiri said in the letter.

Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez said Tuesday he was hopeful the controversial issues on the BBL would be resolved to the “satisfaction” of the stakeholders, and that the measure would be passed before Congress takes a break at the end of the month.

Alvarez made the statement after emerging from Tuesday’s closed-door meeting with the Bangsamoro Transition Commission and the government’s peace panel. 

“The GRP has proposals and the BTC asked for three days so they can discuss these,” Alvarez said.

An administration lawmaker on Tuesday asked the three committees of the House of Representatives that consolidated and approved the Bangsamoro Basic Law bill to look into constitutional issues on some provisions of the measure.

“We should work together to make sure this bill is as airtight as possible as President Duterte’s administration has put much work and effort into this measure,” House deputy speaker and Camarines Sur Rep. Rolando Andaya Jr. said.

Roque said there was no assurance if the House of Representatives’ version of the bill would be certified by the President.

“I have not seen the text but if it is in conformity with what was agreed upon, then there should be no problem. The President should certify it,” Roque said.

He said there was no need for the President to meet with the House leaders. 

The House leaders have reportedly said they will ask the President to certify the BBL as urgent since Congress is set to adjourn sine die on June 2.

Once certified as urgent, the BBL can be passed by Congress on the second and third reading on the same day.

Asked when the President would certify the BBL, Roque said “anytime soon, because that’s what they agreed to speed up.

“Their last meeting here at the Palace is to speed up, you will have certification as urgent for both chambers.”

Topics: President Rodrigo Duterte , Bangsamoro Basic Law , Presidential Spokesman Harry Roque , House of Representatives
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