Atienza: Hold plebiscite after passage of BBL

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A national plebiscite should be conducted if the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) is approved by the legislature, a lawmaker proposed on Thursday.

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“If ever the BBL passes through Congress, then it should go through a national plebiscite, not just a plebiscite within the Mindanao area,” Rep. Lito Atienza of Buhay party-list said.

As it is now, Atienza added, the chairman of the Ad Hoc Committee on the BBL, Rep. Rufus Rodriguez of Cagayan de Oro City, says only those areas covered by the BBL shall be asked in the plebiscite.

But he noted that “[t]he BBL, together with all the crucial issues and concerns being raised about it, affects the whole country, not just Mindanao.”

“One concrete example of this is the share in national income that will be allotted to the BBL. Under the proposed basic law, a block grant equivalent to four (4) percent of the net internal revenue of the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) minus the internal revenue allotments (IRAs) of local government units (LGUs) shall be automatically appropriated to the Bangsamoro region yearly. We should ask our fellow Filipinos if they agree with this since it will be coming from the taxes they are paying. This directly affects all of us, not just the Filipinos in the area,” Atienza said.

“And more important, if the BBL is finally passed by Congress, it is practically amending the Constitution. So the whole nation should vote on it in order to comply with constitutional requirements,” the congressman, a former Manila mayor, added.

It will go against the Constitution if the plebiscite is limited only to areas covered by the proposed basic law, Atienza said.

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2 Comments

  1. vagoneto rieles on

    Winston Churchill once said: “An appeaser is one who feeds the crocodile, hoping that it would eat him last.” Isn’t it appeasement that this administration is doing? Before 2010, the ARMM already had been awarded, as an autonomous region..approximately 10% of the country’s 300,000 sq.km. land area; (Why?). In the BBL draft agreement which the President himself inexplicably blessed when he met secretly with Murad Ebrahim in Tokyo in 2012, a bigger ‘territory’, now exceeding Belgium’s 30,528 sq.km. will be awarded to Bangsamoro which will supplant the ARMM. Isn’t it the government’s job to safeguard and ensure the integrity and indivisibility of the country’s territory..and to secure the future of all its citizens? In making nice with the Philippine Muslims, whose number comes to less than 5% of the total population, the administration will be ceding about 15% of the country without regard to the remaining 95% whose only fault seems to be that of being non-Muslim. The President and his ‘Peace Ladies’ are not unlike naive, unsuspecting ‘peaceniks’ in this proposed law. The BBL must be scrapped now. This farce has gone way too deadly as it is.

  2. We are all stakeholders of any part of this country.Many Mindanaoans are now living in Luzon and Visayas or have family or relatives living there or businesses or other interest in the region.Is it fair to exclude us from deciding the fate of the place we were born? We are now facing problems in the west Philippine sea that threatens our national integrity and soveriegnty. Now we are creating new problems that will slowly and eventually lead to separatism.History will tell us that this group wants no less than a separate state.Maybe i would think otherwise if they can manage to unite each other in one group. No more mnlf or milf or biff or other groups but one. Only when this happens, that I can accept their sincerity for peace.