REP. Lito Atienza of Buhay Party-list on Wednesday renewed his appeal to the House leadership to defer all deliberations on the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) in light of the killing of 44 policemen in a deadly clash with Muslim separatists from the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) and Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters in Mamasapano, Maguindanao, last week.
“I reiterate my call on Speaker [Feliciano] Belmonte [Jr.] and the BBL ad hoc committee chairman, Rep. Rufus Rodriguez, to suspend all deliberations on the BBL while the killing of the 44 policemen is being investigated, while the truth is being determined and justice is not rendered. What is the point of rushing it when it is more important to seek justice and ferret out the truth nf what happened in Mamasapano?” Atienza said in a statement.
He added that since he called for the suspension of the BBL hearings in the House, there has been popular support for it from members of the House of Representatives.
“I’ve noticed that since the first time we aired our appeal to suspend the hearings, there has been an outpouring of the same sentiment from House members on the floor. My own talks with members of the ad hoc committee, which they don’t talk about openly, is that they don’t want to continue with the hearings. A growing number of House members and even members of the majority are withdrawing their earlier support for the BBL and advocating slowing down, if not deferring the hearings to a later date. Instead of rushing the hearings on the BBL, more members are demanding an immediate investigation,” Atienza said.
“Why rush it when there are questions on the constitutionality of several provisions of the proposed law? We will only be able to appreciate and study the provisions of the BBL in a more sober manner. One provision of the BBL is to give them [MILF] their own armed group. This seems to be unconstitutional from the very start, so why even consider it?