If the frequent absence of lawmakers is of any indication, then there is not enough support for the proposed law for the creation of a Bangsamoro Autonomous Region.
House Deputy Minority Leader Carol Jayne Lopez and Buhay party-list Representative Lito Atienza made the observation since the House of Representatives has been struggling to muster a quorum or gathering enough number of lawmakers all-week long.
During the last four days, at least 190 lawmakers have been responding to the roll call of members – a number enough for a quorum. The caveat is, it takes an hour or two before these 190 plus lawmakers make their way to the plenary floor.
Under House rules, the House cannot deliberate on a measure if there is no quorum.
Simple majority is 50 percent of the 291 House members plus one.
The House was supposed to hold a special session on Thursday and Friday so they can have enough time for deliberations and tow the measure to approval by the ideal deadline of June 11, but the paltry attendance prompted the House leaders to postpone the Friday session.
The June 11 deadline is ideal because Congress would go on almost a two-month break starting June 12.
Congress will open session again on the third Monday of July for the sixth and final State of the Nation Address of President Benigno Aquino 3rd wherein he is expected to speak about the approval of the draft law for the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region – the fruit of the peace agreement between the government and the separatist group Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) signed last March 2014.
But just this Thursday, it took almost three hours before enough attendance was noted on the plenary floor.
“It’s obvious that the bill does not have enough support. It has been very hard for the majority,” Atienza pointed out.
“People don’t immediately come to the session hall. And when they do, they leave shortly after. What would be more telling than that?” Atienza added.