• House panel to start consulting Mindanaons on BBL


    COTABATO CITY: The Indigenous Peoples of Upi and South Upi in Maguindanao will be the first to be consulted by the House ad hoc committee on the draft Bangsamoro Basic Law as the Lower House starts consultations on the draft bill.

    On October 22, the house panel will hold the first of a series of consultations and public hearing on the draft BBL. It will be at the Upi School gymnasium to be presided over by Cagayan Representative Rufus Rodriguez.

    This starts the visit of a 75-man ad hoc panel that is tasked to scrutinize the draft BBL.

    Rodriguez, adhoc panel chair, will be accompanied by Basilan Rep. Jim Hataman-Salliman, vice chairman of the ad hoc panel, will visit the core territories of the draft new political entity.

    “All the 75 members have been invited. All stakeholders are invited,” Rodriguez said in a statement.

    In a separate statement, Hataman-Salliman said the committee wants to listen to all concerned stakeholders to ensure that the BBL is acceptable to all.

    “We encourage healthy discussions of the peace measure to further refine the BBL draft,” Hataman-Salliman said.

    Rodriguez sees a healthy discussion among indigenous peoples in the Upi municipalities.

    After Upi consultations, the ad hoc committee will proceed to Cotabato City on October 23, Thursday for similar public hearing at the Notre Dame University, still with Rodriguez as the presiding officer.

    On Friday, October 24, the panel will proceed to Tacurong City for the consultations with the people Sultan Kudarat province (10 a.m. to 3 p.m.).

    Simultaneously, a consultation will also be held in Koronadal City (10:30 to 3:30 p.m.) and Gen. Santos City at Mindanao State University gym (11 a.m. to 4 p.m.).

    Rep. Pedro Acharon Jr. will preside the consultations in Gen. Santos. PNA


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