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Some BBL provisions appear unhelpful, unconstitutional—Lobregat

/ 05:52 PM April 17, 2018

Rep. Celso Lobregat INQUIRER file photo

Some provisions under the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) which was approved at the committee level of the House of Representatives were “unconstitutional” and would not address Mindanao’s problems, a lawmaker from the southern region lamented on Tuesday.

Zamboanga City Rep. Celso Lobregat told reporters that House Bill 6457, which was approved at the committee level with no amendments last Monday, has unconstitutional provisions.

“Palagay ko hindi [makakatulong sa problema ng Mindanao], dahil talagang ito yung version na ipapasa, siguradong ang daming-dami tatakbo sa Korte Suprema at talagang maraming provisions diyan na clearly unconstitutional,” Lobregat said in a phone interview.

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(For me I guess this will not address Mindanao’s problems, because if this version will be passed, for sure a lot of people will run to the Supreme Court and there are provisions that are clearly unconstitutional.)

“Sayang talaga. Sayang ang oras. Ganun lang pala. [It is just a waste of time.] We should not have any consultation nor committee hearings if that’s what will be resolved. Kung alam lang namin na ganun e ‘di hindi na dapat tayo nagsayang ng oras, ng panahon, ng pagod pati ng pera,” he lamented.
One of the “unconstitutional” provisions Lobregat cited was the one which allows several areas to submit a resolution or petition of 10 percent of its registered voters to be allowed to join the region.

He said the provision that automatically includes into the Bangsamoro region several municipalities of the existing Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) is also unconstitutional.

“Sabi ng Korte Suprema noon [The Supreme Court said before], there should be another plebiscite by the individual provinces,” he added.

The House committee on Muslim affairs, voting 5-3, and special committee on peace, unity and reconciliation, voting 6-4, have approved House Deputy Speaker Bai Sandra Sema’s motion to pass HB 6475 as the House’s BBL version and retain all of its provisions.

HB 6475, principally authored by Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez, is the same as the BBL version submitted by the Bangsamoro Transition Commission (BTC) to Congress.

The panels will meet again when session resumes on May 15 to approve the committee report on HB 6475. /jpv

READ: House joint committee approves Bangsamoro commission’s BBL version

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