Absentee lawmakers derail Bangsamoro vote

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PLENARY debates at the House of Representatives on the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) bill did not push through on Wednesday for lack of quorum.

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Only a few lawmakers showed up in plenary and some of them asked for more time to study the measure, prompting House leaders to postpone the debates.

“The majority bloc knows that this BBL would need around three session days so it won’t look railroaded. There is an initial suggestion of an extended session hours of 10 a.m. to midnight, but they cannot do it if they cannot even muster a quorum during the regular hours of session,” House Deputy Minority Leader Antonio Tinio of Alliance of Concerned Teachers party-list said.

Attendance at the House this week was poor that the House had to adjourn before 6 p.m. or merely an hour after convening.

“We’re ready to interpellate, but the problem is, the Majority bloc cannot muster a quorum. This should be done by June 11 because after that, we’ll have the [national]budget [for deliberation]. Time’s really constrained,” Bayan Muna Rep. Carlos Zarate added.

Senior Deputy Minority Leader Neri Colmenares warned administration lawmakers against delaying the deliberations only to railroad it in the end.

“They are chasing the deadline so that the President would have something to say in the SONA (State of the Nation Address), but why the rush when the Senate is not yet even done on Committee level deliberations? We should not rush this at the expense of those who have valid queries,” Colmenares said.

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