House panel to clip Bangsa powers

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The chairman of the House Ad Hoc Committee on the Bangsamoro Basic Law stood his ground that Congress will clip the powers of the Bangsamoro government under the proposed BBL despite contrary opinion expressed by the Peace Council led by former Chief Justice Hilario Davide Jr.

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Cagayan de Oro City Rep. Rufus Rodriguez on Monday said the Bangsamoro government cannot take over the duties of constitutional commissions such as Office of the Ombudsman, Commission on Audit, Commission on Elections (Comelec), Commission on Human Rights and even the Philippine National Police.

“There can be no interference with a [constitutional]commission. The commission can establish regional offices and expand their operations and powers since those are perfectly within the province of Constitutional Commissions. It is not Congress that will determine and create offices and place them under the commissions,” Rodriguez told reporters.

During submission of the Peace Council’s report on the BBL on Tuesday, Davide said the Supreme Court and the constitutional bodies will continue to maintain the powers given to them by the Constitution even if the BBL, which will be governed by the Bangsamoro government and will have its own auditing office and Bangsamoro police, is passed into law.

“There will be no diminution of powers. The wording of the BBL is clear. The special offices intend to supplement, not supplant, their national counterparts,” he added.

Rodriguez, however, insisted, “The BBL cannot be above the Constitution.”

The Peace Council is composed of Davide, Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle, Jaime Augusto Zobel de Ayala, Howard Dee and Bai Rohaniza Sumndad-Usman.

After today’s submission of the BBL report, Rodriguez’s panel will go into executive session (not open to the media) en route to drafting of the committee report on the proposed BBL.

The ad hoc panel is expected to vote on the proposed BBL by May 11 and have it ready for plenary debate by May 18.

The proposed law needs Congress’ approval by end of May for it to be ready for President Benigno Aquino 3rd signing it into law by June.

Further delays will mean non-passage of the measure since a plebiscite for the Bangsamoro Region coverage would still be conducted by the Commission on Elections.

Meanwhile, the Bangsamoro Transition Authority would still need at least nine months to lay the groundwork for the BBL’s implementation before the Bangsamoro government polls are held simultaneously with the May 2016 elections for the next President of the Philippines.

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3 Comments

  1. some people are saying that ARMM was neglected by the national government, i beg to dis agree. billions of funds has been allocated to ARMM but most residents are still poor but their political leaders are very rich. they can afford to purchase latest models of cars/suv on cash basis . where did they get the funds ? most local officials in ARMM do not gives public services to their constituents,try visiting their municipal HALL ,most of them are two story buildings with a one non-uniform PNP personnel acting as guard and NO other employees giving services to the people, MOST EMPLOYEES ARE GHOST.

  2. The philippine government at present is colonizing this muslim filipino. OMG. These are the wordings made in Malaysia. Sabah has never been mentioned in the BBL and the sultanate of Sulu is etchapwera in crafting this BBL. Why not just revised the ARMM law and find loopholes there to correct it.Or split the ARMMinto two. Sulu, basilan tawi-tawi and Sabah is ARMM 1 and Mainland Mindanao into ARMM 2.

  3. Gloria M. Kuizon on

    God bless you, Congressman Rufus R and your brother!
    Don’t agree to the anti-Republicof the Philippines views of Davide. He is a tool of the Yellow Army and the Liberal Party!!!