Will Aquino secure BBL passage this time?


President Benigno Aquino 3rd should prepare a new, short and compelling speech to rally his allies in Congress to pass the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law, a lawmaker said Saturday.

Isabela Rep. Rodito Albano, a member of the Commission on Appointments, made the suggestion in light of Aquino’s announcement that he will meet members of the House of Representatives again next week to push the approval of the Bangsamoro measure.

The President rallied lawmakers to pass the bill in a meeting held at Malacañang in December but he failed to convince congressmen.

The proposed Bangsamoro law—a product of the peace agreement between the government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF)— was supposed to create the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region that will be guaranteed fiscal autonomy and governed by the Bangsamoro Parliament elected by the Bangsamoro Region’s inhabitants.
Albano warned the President’s appeal may again fall on deaf ears.

“I see them listening for a bit but the explanation should not be long. Congressmen have a habit of being impatient,” he told The Manila Times.

“As proof of this, they always leave after the roll call,” Albano added.

The lawmaker was referring to the quorum problem at the House, one of the reasons why the Bangsamoro bill has not been passed.

Under House rules, the plenary can only tackle bills and others listed in order of business if there is a quorum.

With 290 House members, there should be 146 members in attendance in the plenary to constitute a quorum.

After Aquino’s meeting with lawmakers last December, a quorum was initially reached but it dissipated after an hour or so, thus leaving the Bangsamoro bill in limbo.

The lawmakers’ support for the measure turned cold when 44 police commandos were mowed down by members of the MILF and other armed groups in Mamasapano, Maguindanao.


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