The minority bloc in the House of Representatives has warned allies of President Aquino 3rd that they would court impeachment moves if the House leadership proceeded with deliberations on the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) despite their opposition.
Minority Leader Ronaldo Zamora of San Juan City (Metro Manila) made the warning in light of the determined stance of House ad hoc panel to calendar the BBL for discussions during session break from April 6 to 16.
Zamora and 51 other lawmakers are pushing for continued suspension of the BBL hearings since the House is yet set to reopen its investigation of the Mamasapano incident.
“We are not discussing impeachment right now. But if the majority bloc makes the wrong move on our petition [to suspend the BBL hearings pending resumption of the Mamasapano probe], that [impeachment]could gain votes,” Zamora said in a news conference.
“They have to remember that majority of those who want the BBL hearings suspended are from the majority bloc. This is not a threat but a statement of fact,” he added.
Zamora, however, clarified that those opposed to resumption of the BBL hearings are not holding the BBL hostage with their stance.
“We only have 19 members in the minority bloc. Most of the 120 who signed are from the majority bloc. How can we hold it hostage when we comprise less than 10 percent of the House?” he pointed out.
But despite the opposition lawmakers’ firm stand, the 98-strong House ad hoc committee can proceed with the BBL deliberations as scheduled since it would only need 15 lawmakers present to transact business.
Faced with such predicament, Zamora could only warn that the BBL backers cannot expect to gather support for the measure if the House ad hoc panel on the BBL headed by Cagayan de Oro Rep. Rufus Rodriguez will just ram the proposed measure through the lawmakers’ throats.
“If they are going to proceed with it despite our petition, they should be prepared to lose when the BBL is put to a vote,” he said.