BBL debates to resume after ‘counter-SONA’

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Plenary discussions on the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) will continue on Tuesday.

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Congress adjourned sine die last June 11 before President Benigno Aquino 3rd’s sixth and last State of the Nation Address (SONA) without passing the proposal.

“The House leadership will entertain in tomorrow’s [Monday] session the counter-SoNA of the opposition bloc. By Tuesday, we will resume plenary consideration of the BBL,” said House Majority Leader and Rep. Neptali Gonzales 2nd of Mandaluyong City (Metro Manila).

It has been tradition for the House minority, which is led by Rep. Ronaldo Zamora of San Juan City (Metro Manila), to hold the kontra-SONA [counter-SONA].

In his SONA last July 27, Aquino pushed for the passage of the BBL, saying those opposed to it must show an alternative.

The proposed measure is a result of a peace agreement between the government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF).

If passed, it will establish the Bangsamoro entity to replace the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao and lead establishment of lasting peace in the country’s southern Mindanao region.

As the 16th Congress opened its third regular session last Monday, there was no timeline yet for the BBL.

“That is difficult,” House Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr. told reporters in the morning before Aquino’s SONA when asked on the measure’s timeline.

“The Senate and the House [of Representatives]are in meetings on that.”

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