IN PHOTO- Members of House Joint Committee on BBL during the deliberation on the proposed law on May 15, 2018

House Joint Committee delivers majority votes on BBL-BTC version

QUEZON CITY - The House Joint Committee on Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) have delivered a majority vote on the proposed law drafted by the Bangsamoro Transition Commission (BTC) to pave the way for the approval of the committee report on Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) without amendments on Tuesday, May 15 here at the Batasan Pambansa, Quezon City.

The result of the voting were as follows: Committee on Local Government, voted 32-3; the Committee on Muslim affairs, voted 27-3; and the Special Committee on Peace, Unity and Reconciliation, voted 27-3.

However, before the joint committee concluded yesterday’s committee report session, BBL well-known critics Zamboanga 1st District Rep. Celso Lobregat, Lanao del Norte 1st District Rep. Mohammad Khalid Dimaporo and 2nd District Rep. Abdullah Dimaporo vehemently opposed the inclusion of Moro dominated areas in Lanao del Norte and Zamboanga City. 

Among who voted “no” was Shernee Abubakar Tan of the Party List Kausug-Tausug.

Rep. Lobregat quoted and argued that what President Rodrigo Duterte was saying “the BBL will not pass in Congress” but one observer said during the committee session that Rep. Lobregat is blind and constant in his argument against the BBL.

It is recalled that President Duterte has reiterated his commitment during the turnover of hundreds of loose fire arms in Buluan, Maguindanao that he will resign if the BBL is not passed by May this year.

Lanao del Norte 1st District Rep. Dimaporo questioned the process of voting last April 16 when Deputy Speaker Rep. Bai Sandara Sema approved without amendments the HB 6475 authored by House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez.

Rep. Juan Pablo “Rimpy” P. Bondoc, Senior Deputy Majority Floor Leader said, they have gone trough the process as stipulated in the committee on rules of the house. “We did not muscle you or estoppel you,” he said, explaining why the house decision should be respected.

He said they must go to the given timeline with due process in order to avoid further delay on the passage of BBL.

House Majority Leader Rodolfo Fariñas said they hope to approve House Bill 6475 by May 30.

"Kailangang ma-approve namin itong BBL by May 30," Fariñas said.

Fariñas said all the concerns of the opposing camps will be heard in the upcoming all-party caucus on HB 6475, before the plenary deliberates on the bill.

The next meeting of the House of Representatives (HoR) after making explanation of their votes, the committee report would then be referred to the committee on rules and to schedule for plenary deliberations where HoR members who would like to raise concern on the BBL will be entertained.

The BBL is long overdue since the 16th Congress. It encountered so many challenges, and criticisms on its constitutionality, such as the 2015 Mamasapano fiasco, the 2017 Marawi Siege. 

Yet, it hurdled the test of time, and in due time expected to be passed by congress under the Duterte administration so that once and for all the historical injustices committed against the Bangsamoro are addressed.