• House rejects Bangsamoro police


    THE House of Representatives will not allow the proposed Bangsamoro region to have its own police force, Cagayan de Oro Rep. Rufus Rodriguez, Chairman of the House Ad Hoc Committee on the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL), said on Monday.

    Rodriguez vowed to block moves that will grant the Bangsamoro region its own police board.

    He noted that based on Article 16 Section 6 of the Constitution, the state should establish and maintain one police force that is national in scope and civilian in character to be administered and controlled by a National Police Commission (Napolcom).

    The BBL provides for the establishment of the Bangsamoro Police Board that will have the same functions as the Napolcom.

    “Under the Constitution, Napolcom is the lone body that disciplines policemen and the PNP’s operation is under control of the PNP chief. The possibility is this [Bangsamoro Police Board provision] will be removed because it will violate the Constitution,” Rodriguez told reporters in an interview.

    He said Congress will reject provisions in the BBL draft stating that the national government and the Bangsamoro government should establish coordination protocols that will govern the movement of the Armed Forces of the Philippines in the Bangsamoro.

    “This violates the Constitution because there is no need for protocol and coordination. The Constitution means external and internal security,” Rodriguez stressed.

    He said Congress will also not allow the Bangsamoro region to have its own audit body, Civil Service Commission, electoral body, human rights office and a disciplinary office for public officials similar to the functions of the Office of the Ombudsman.

    “The BBL will have to be expunged of its unconstitutional provisions. This is not mangling of the BBL because we are trying to delete the unconstitutional provisions. If we don’t, then this will go to the Supreme Court. And when that happens, it will be declared unconstitutional,” Rodriguez explained.

    “And even if you remove these, the salient features and the meat of the BBL are about granting them full political autonomy. They will have 58 exclusive powers which will be retained,” he said.

    Rodriguez’s panel plans to approve the draft BBL committee report by May 4.

    President Benigno Aquino 3rd needs to sign the measure into law by June for the Bangsamoro Region to be in place before he steps down in June 2016.


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