BBL clears House panel


IN an apparent show of force, congressmen allied with the administration who are members of an ad hoc committee that reviewed the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) on Wednesday voted to endorse the measure for plenary discussion next week.

In a vote of 48 in favor, 18 against and one abstention, the House committee approved the amended BBL bill as well as the committee report.

The approved committee report is now formally named as the Basic Law for the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region.

The committee deliberated on the measure in a 13-hour marathon hearing, which lasted until late Tuesday night.

Critics of the draft BBL said Malacañang had a hand in the crafting of the working draft.
Cagayan de Oro City Rep. Rufus Rodriguez Jr., who heads the ad hoc committee, however, vehemently denied the allegation, saying the panel incorporated 95 proposed amendments from various lawmakers.

Senator Ferdinand Marcos Jr. on Wednesday expressed confidence that the approval of the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law will not be railroaded in the Senate like what happened in the House of Representatives ad hoc committee, as claimed by some progressive legislators.

“I don’t think so because our senators are very independent-minded,” Marcos said in a radio interview with asked on the possibility that the BBL will be railroaded in the Senate.

What’s next?
The draft BBL as approved by the committee will now be subjected to voting under the appropriations and ways and means committees.

The proposed BBL establishes a Bangsamoro Autonomous Region that will enjoy fiscal autonomy and governed by a parliament elected by residents of the region.
President Benigno Aquino 3rd transmitted the draft BBL to the House of Representatives last September.

The proposed BBL is a product of decades of negotiations between the Philippine government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF).

Rodriguez said it is unprecedented in the history of the House of Representatives that at least 50 hearings were conducted in nine months and 91 lawmakers participated in crafting this piece of legislation.

“This will cure centuries of inherited disadvantages of our Muslim brothers sisters, as well as the neglect and injustices inflicted on them. I am from Mindanao and I’d like to see the children of our Muslim brothers and sisters having the same opportunity as the children in Christian communities…the same opportunity for good education, health and employment,” he pointed out.

“They [Muslim children] should not be judged by their culture or religion but seen as a person with human dignity. They should be with us in development,” Rodriguez said.

Before the voting, the committee approved an amendment proposed by Misamis Occidental Rep. Henry Oaminal to remove the word “abolishing” in the final title of the draft.

Race against time
Malacañang also on Wednesday said passing the BBL is practically a race against time and the President is working double-time to convince lawmakers to immediately approve the measure.

Also, its spokesman Edwin Lacierda said delay in the bill’s passage was caused by the infamous Mamasapano incident that sidetracked Congress.

“I think we should recognize the fact that time is getting short… For the situation in Mamasapano obviously delayed the timetable for us,” he added.

Lacierda said proponents of the bill have a lot of catching up to do and this is the reason why the President has been making the rounds among leaders of Congress to fast-track its passage.

“And we need to catch up. We need to also make sure that as we previously stated the need for capacity-building. We need to also capacitate the people from Mindanao, those who are going to take on leadership to ensure that they are equipped with capabilities to govern the area,” he explained.

“So that’s an important thing and also to prepare the entire Bangsamoro for the eventual synchronization of elections in 2016,” Lacierda said.

He further explained that the BBL has to be passed soon because under the Constitution, a referendum has to happen.

Voices of dissent
An hour before the start of Wednesday’s voting, the minority bloc led by Minority Floor Leader Ronaldo Zamora of San Juan City (Metro Manila) said it will thumb down the measure.

But Anak Mindanao party-list Rep. Sitti Hataman thanked her colleagues for voting
favorably on the BBL.

“I said yes today because the BBL recognizes our right to self-determination. This [proposed]law does not give us anything new. It does not give us anything which doesn’t belong to us hundreds of years ago,” Hataman, wife of Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao Gov. Mujiv Hataman, said.

But for Gary Alejano of Magdalo party-list and Zamboanga City Rep. Celso Lobregat, the BBL raises questions instead of being reassuring.

Alejano said the government still continued to push for the BBL–a product of the peace agreement between the government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF)–even if the MILF admitted that its members who were involved in the killing of Special Action Force members in Mamasapano are yet to be charged with criminal cases.

“No member of the MILF has faced charges over what happened in Mamasapano. How can we have the trust and confidence that they will be our partners in the implementation of the BBL?,” Alejano, a former Marine captain who fought the MILF, said.

“I voted no because despite the clear non-compliance [with the peace agreement]on the part of MILF, the government still pushed for this measure, which primarily benefits the MILF. This is sending the wrong signal,” he added.

Rep. Celso Lobregat of Zamboanga City was incensed over retention of a provision that allows contiguous cities and municipalities to be part of the Bangsamoro core area and those under the 1976 Tripoli Agreement to be part of the Bangsamoro Region upon petition of at least 10 percent of registered voters and approva; by a majority of qualified votes cast in a plebiscite.

Lobregat said the provision “unjustly” covers Zamboanga City, as well as the cities of Dipolog and Pagadian, and as such, runs counter to the Constitution.

‘This BBL is against the Constitution and will make life difficult for the adjoining areas. We are allowing them [Filipino Muslims] to declare independence and secede,” he added..
Opposition lawmakers have warned their colleagues against voting in favor of the BBL, claiming it would establish a larger Bangsamoro region and dissipate their legislative districts.

The Bangsamoro core area is composed of the existing Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, municipalities of Baloi, Munai, Nunungan, Pantar, Tagoloan and Tangkal in Lanao del Norte and all other barangay (villages) in the municipalities of Kabacan, Carmen, Aleosan, Pigkawayan, Pikit and Midsayap that voted for inclusion in the autonomous region during the 2001 plebiscite, as well as the cities of Cotabato and Isabela.

The Tripoli agreement, on the other hand, covered 13 provinces for the formation of an
autonomous government for the Bangsamoro people including: Basilan, Sulu, Tawi-Tawi, Zamboanga del Sur, Zamboanga del Norte, North Cotabato, Maguindanao, Sultan Kudarat, Lanao del Norte, Lanao del Sur, Davao del Sur, South Cotabato and Palawan.

Since Sarangani was still a part of South Cotabato and Zamboanga Sibugay belonged to Zamboanga del Sur during the time that the Tripoli agreement was signed in 1976, these provinces can opt to join the Bangsamoro Region thru a plebiscite within five to 10 years after the BBL is enacted into law.

“There are areas that are included now even if these were already excluded in the previous plebiscite [in 2001]. Why are these suddenly in play? And what would prevent other places from following suit? They [lawmakers]should start listening not just to their conscience but to what their constituents are saying [on the BBL],” Zamora said in a news conference.

Black propaganda
Rodriguez denied allegations that Malacañang bribed lawmakers to vote for the passage of the proposed BBL.

“That is certainly false. That is black propaganda. There is no promise of anything. The detractors of this bill have always sent information like that,” he said.

“There is no truth to that. There will be no offer. There has been no offer. There will be none. And there will be none which will be accepted.”

The lawmaker cited an alleged incident where Malaysian authorities paid off members of the House of Representatives at P50 million each in exchange for supporting the bill.

He said no money from Malacañang was given to supporters of the proposed law.

“We are wiser than that. There is no offer from Malacañang. There is no money involved. We are voting for this because the Bangsamoro needs this law for their development,” Rodriguez added.



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  1. Majority of the yes voters on BBL are on the PDAF 3rd and 4th if there is a 4th list.Are they being blackmailed or promise of big money.NO voters Rep. we are with you we will be behind you with our comment we will go all the way,Mabuhay po kayo at Salamat.Good will prevail over evil.

  2. Mr. Reporter, we the people are clamoring that the list of Congressmen of the ad hoc committee be made public, distinguished who are those under the 48-18-1 votes. Can you do it?

    • Voted YES to BBL:
      1. Rufus B. Rodriguez
      2. Jim Hataman-Salliman
      3. Tupay Loong
      4. Henry Oaminal
      5. Bai Sandra A. Sema
      6. Jesus N. Sacdalan
      7. Romeo M. Acop
      8. Raymond Democrito C. Mendoza
      9. Ma. Lourdes O. Acosta-Alba
      10. Ansaruddin M. Adiong
      11. Jorge Almonte
      12. Isagani Amatong
      13. Rommel C. Amatong
      14. Naryam Napii Arbison
      15. Kaka J. Bag-ao
      16. Elpidio F. Barzaga Jr.
      17. Rodolfo G. Biazon
      18. Belma A. Cabilao
      19. Rodolfo C. Farinas
      20. Florencio C. Garay
      21. Mylene J. Garcia-Albano
      22. Ann Hofer
      23. Rosendo Labadlad
      24. Antonio F. Lagdameo Jr.
      25. Zajid G. Mangudadatu
      26. Edgar Masongsong
      27. Francisco T. Matugas
      28. Mariano U. Piamonte Jr.
      29. Imelda Quibranza-Dimaporo
      30. Romeo Quimbo
      31. Maximo B. Rodriguez
      32. Xavier Jesus Romualdo
      33. Guillermo A. Romarate Jr.
      34. Ruby Sahali
      35. Raden Sakaluran
      36. Mel Sene Sarmiento
      37. Neil Tupas Jr.
      38. Sitti Djalia Turabin-Hataman
      39. Isidro Ungab
      40. Juliette Uy
      41. Henedina Abad
      42. Pangalian Balindong
      43. Neptali M. Gonzalwes II
      44. Jorge “Bolet” Banal
      45. Jose Christopher Y. Belmonte
      46. Marcelino Teodoro
      47. Ibarra M. Gutierrez
      48. Maria Leonor Gerona-Robredo
      49. Angelina Ludovice Katoh
      50. Elenita Milagros Ermita-Buhain

      Voted NO to BBL:
      1. Gary Alejano
      2. Thelma Almaro
      3. Aurora Entro-Cerilles
      4. Celso Lobregat
      5. Lilia Machoron-Nuno
      6. Philip Pichay
      7. Victor Yu
      8. Seth Frederick P. Jalosjos
      9. Jose “Pingping” I. Tejada
      10. Antonio L. Tinio
      11. Carlos Isagani T. Zarate
      12. Neri Colmenares
      13. Carol Jayne B. Lopez
      14. Sylvestre Bello III
      15. Fernando “Ka Pando” L. Hicap
      16. Emmi A. de Jesus
      17. Terry Ridon

      Abstain Vote
      Frederick F. Abueg

    • Yes vote
      Abad, Henedina (Batanes)
      Acop, Romeo (Antipolo City 2nd district)
      Acosta- Alba,Ma. Lourdes (Bukidnon 1st district)
      Adiong, Ansaruddin (Lanao del Sur 1st district)
      Almonte, Jorge (Misamis Occidental 1st district)
      Amatong, Isagani (Zamboanga del Norte 3rd district)
      Amatong, Rommel (Compostela Valley 2nd district)
      Arbison, Naryam Napii (Sulu 2nd district)
      Bag-ao, Kaka (Dinagat Islands)
      Balindong, Pangalian (Lanao del Sur 2nd district)
      Banal, Jorge (Quezon City 3rd district)
      Barzaga, Elpidio Jr. (Cavite 4th district)
      Belmonte, Jose Christopher (Quezon City 6th district)
      Biazon, Rodolfo (Muntinlupa City)
      Cabilao, Belma (Zamboanga Sibugay 1st district)
      Dimaporo, Imelda Quibranza (Lanao del Norte 1st district)
      Ermita-Buhain, Elenita Miagros (Batangas 1st district)
      Fariñas, Rodolfo (Ilocos Norte 1st district)
      Garay, Florencio (Surigao del Sur 2nd district)
      Garcia-Albano, Mylene (Davao City 2nd district)
      Gonzales, Neptali II (Mandaluyong City)
      Gutierrez, Ibarra III (Akbayan Party-list)
      Hataman-Salliman, Jim (Basilan)
      Hofer, Ann (Zamboanga Sibugay 2nd district)
      Katoh, Angelina Ludovice (Akbayan Party -list)
      Labadlad, Rosendo (Zamboanga del Norte 2nd district)
      Lagdameo, Antonio Jr (Davao del Norte 2nd district)
      Loong, Tupay (Sulu 1st district)
      Mangundadatu, Zajid (Maguindanao 2nd district)
      Masongsong, Edgar (1-CARE Party -list)
      Matugas, Francisco (Surigao del Norte 1st district)
      Mendoza, Raymond Democrito (TUCP)
      Oaminal, Henry (Misamis Occidental 2nd district)
      Piamonte, Mariano Jr (A Teacher Party-list)
      Robredo, Maria Leonor Gerona (Camarines Sur 3rd district)
      Quimbo, Romero (Marikina City 2nd district)
      Rodriguez, Maximo (Abante Mindanao)
      Rodriguez, Rufus (Cagayan de Oro 2nd district)
      Romarate, Guillermo Jr (Surigao del Norte 2nd district)
      Romualdo, Xavier Jesus (Camiguin)
      Sacdalan, Jesus (North Cotabato 1st district)
      Sahali, Ruby (Tawi-Tawi)
      Sakaluran, Raden (Sultan Kudarat 1st district)
      Sarmiento, Mel Senen (Western Samar 1st district)
      Sema, Bai Sandra (Maguindanao and Cotabato City 1st district)
      Teodoro, Marcelino (Marikina City 1st district)
      Turabin-Hataman, Sitti Djalia (AMIN Party-list)
      Tupas, Niel Jr (Iloilo 5th district)
      Ungab, Isidro (Davao City 3rd district)
      Uy, Juliette (Misamis Oriental 2nd district)
      No vote
      Alejano, Gary (Magdalo Party List)
      Almario, Thelma (Davao Oriental 2nd district)
      Bello, Silvestre III (1-BAP)
      Cerilles, Aurora Enerio (Zamboanga del Sur 2nd district)
      Neri Colmenares (Bayan Muna)
      de Jesus, Emmi (Gabriela Party-list)
      Hicap, Fernando (Anakpawis Party-list)
      Jalosjos, Seth Frederick (Zamboanga del Norte 1st district)
      Lobregat, Celso (Zamboanga City 1st district)
      Lopez, Carol Jayne (YACAP)
      Macrohon-Nuño, Lilia (Zamboanga City 2nd district)
      Pichay, Philip (Surigao del Sur 1st district)
      Ridon, Terry (Kabataan Party-list)
      Tejada, Jose (North Cotabato 3rd district)
      Tinio, Antonio (ACT Teachers)
      Yu, Victor (Zamboanga del Sur 1st district)
      Zarate, Carlos Isagani (Bayan Muna)

    • This is good so we will know who the traitors and crooks are,maybe we can include what party do they belong.salamat

  3. This is crazy! BBL will divide the Philippines, and promote more terrorism. Imagine ISIS in Mindanao as the legitimate government. What could possibly go wrong? Beheadings, religious genocide, and mass killings? No, not here, says the fool. And it appears that the senate is a coven of fools.