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Bicam to present BBL’s contentious provisions to Duterte

/ 09:08 PM July 10, 2018


Senate President Vicente “Tito” Sotto III PHOTO/EDWIN BACASMAS, Philippine Daily Inquirer

Updated (9:54 p.m.)

Members of the bicameral conference committee on the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) are scheduled to present to President Rodrigo Duterte the contentious provisions of the Bangsamoro territory and plebiscite on Wednesday in a bid to resolve the issues hounding some parts of the bill.

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Senate President Vicente Sotto III confirmed this in a text message to reporters on Tuesday night.

Isabela 1st District Rep. Rodolfo Albano III, a member of the panel, said: “Ang pinaka-contentious naman diyan ‘yung sa plebiscite. Hindi ko pa masabi sa inyo kasi dadalhin pa sa Malacañang bukas. Ipe-present kay Presidente.”

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(The most contentious issue is the plebiscite. I can’t say, but it will be submitted to Malacañang tomorrow.)

READ: House OKs BBL bill, but Senate introduces ‘contentious’ changes

Senate Majority Leader Juan Miguel Zubiri earlier said the contention stems from the Moros’ preference for the “opt-in” proposal in the Senate version of the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL), or Senate Bill 1717, that would allow 39 villages in North Cotabato and six towns in Lanao del Norte to join the envisioned Bangsamoro region following a plebiscite.

Ghazali Jaafar, Bangsamoro Transition Commission chair and vice chair of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) central committee, said they prefer the “opt-in” proposal in the Senate version of the BBL.

READ: Moro leaders prefer opt-in provision in Senate version of BBL

But some district representatives are opposing this, according to Zubiri.

“I understand the positions of the district congressmen because it is a loss of territory for them and medyo mabigat ‘yan at malalim (and the issue is deep). Kaya ako’y nagrerespeto sa kanila (I respect their views),” he said.

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The House version of the BBL, or House Bill 6475, meanwhile has a similar provision wherein local government units (LGUs) may only join the Bangsamoro if their mother province or town votes in favor of inclusion to the Bangsamoro region. /ee/ac

READ: Ratification of BBL eyed by July 23

Zubiri also said the panel decided “to put on hold” until Wednesday the deliberations on the provision on territory as well as the plebiscite (Articles III and XV) due to its controversial and contentious nature. The panel also aims to finish the draft BBL by Wednesday evening, he added. /ee /ac

READ: Zubiri: Bicam agrees in 3 crucial BBL provision

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TAGS: Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL), BBL presentation to Duterte, bicameral conference committee
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