PRESIDENT Benigno Aquino 3rd is “not willing” to pursue the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) to prevent the collapse of the ruling coalition, which will lead to the defeat of Interior Secretary Manuel “Mar” Roxas 2nd, according to top officials of various party-list coalitions on Friday.
Obet de Castro, deputy secretary-general of party-list Koalisyong Makabayan, said Aquino is “not willing” to push the passage of the proposed BBL since it would mean a “clash against the majority of the congressmen who are all against the proposed BBL.”
Former Bukluran ng Manggagawang Pilipino (BMP) party-list Rep. Renato Magtubo agreed with de Castro’s point that the President is afraid to end the ruling coalition, because it would be a decisive additional basis for the possible defeat of Roxas in next year’s elections.
While Roxas has been tailing in the presidential surveys since last year, Vice President Jejomar Binay and Sen. Grace Poe are the two leading preferences by the respondents of the survey.
Magtubo, who is the president of the Partido Manggagawa (PM) party-list, explained that in the context of electoral exercise, Aquino knew very much that “pushing for the passage of the [proposed]BBL and Anti-Dynasty Bill will be a divisive act for the ruling coalition since many of its members are against the proposals. The Freedom of Information Bill, on the other hand, if ever pushed by [Aquino] will be a plus factor for the administration for it will indicate [its]seriousness in pursuing transparen[t]government, which will serve as [an]antidote to corrupt practices [of many officials of the administration]. The sad thing, however, [Aquino] has [already]abandoned his promise and commitment to the FOI bill [which the public do not know]because it would be a big fight against congressmen.”
De Castro pointed out that majority of the members of the House of Representatives are in strong opposition to the proposed BBL because many of its provisions are unacceptable to them. He said, “it is not anymore in the agenda of Malacañang” to push the congressmen to pass the law.
He has the same view with Magtubo that the proposed Anti-Dynasty Law would not see its light in the House because of various congressmen’s strong opposition to it.
De Castro said this could be the reason why the House leadership could not muster a quorum, in the past few days, to act on the passage of the proposed BBL, Anti-Dynasty Law and Freedom of Information Act.
He pointed out to The Manila Times that this is the “official view and stand” of the progressive party-list groups belonging to the Koalisyong Makabayan like Bayan Muna, Gabriela, Anakpawis, Kabataan and Alliance of Concerned Teachers or ACT as these groups discovered from Malacañang the true reasons of inaction in the House about the BBL, Anti-Dynasty and FOI.
In the past, Aquino has demonstrated utmost interest on BBL since it would become his administration’s legacy.
As for the Anti-Dynasty bill, he surprised the lawmakers when he urged them to pass the proposed measure during his sixth and last State of the Nation Address (SONA).
As for the FOI, the President displayed his concern on this proposed law when he mentioned its passage by the Congress in his introductory note in the proposed General Appropriations Act for 2016.
De Castro said, “The sudden change of mind of Mr. Aquino was that he learned from reliable sources in the House that the majority of its members are willing to put a fight against Malacanang if the President will impose his wishes on BBL, Anti-Dynasty and FOI measures.”
Even if the House leadership managed to muster a quorum, he stressed that the majority of administration and opposition representatives will strongly block the passage of the three proposed laws.
Magtubo and de Castro were united in the idea that the President could not afford to let Liberal Party end up as a defeated political party in the 2016 polls.
NELSON S. BADILLA