Aquino LP ally: Suspend BBL hearings
An ally of President Aquino in the ruling Liberal Party (LP) yesterday predicted the failure of Congress to meet a deadline set by the President for the passage of the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) amid outrage over the killing of 44 police commandos on a mission to kill international terrorist Marwan inside a Moro rebel area in Maguindanao province.
Rep. Rodolfo Biazon (LP, Muntinlupa) said the March deadline set by Malacañang for Congress to pass the BBL would be next to impossible to meet amid the clamor for justice for the 44 members of the Philippine National Police-Special Action Force (PNP-SAF) who were killed as they tried to extricate themselves from territory identified with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) after killing Marwan.
Biazon, who went to Camp Aguinaldo and talked with reporters ahead of a press conference by the armed forces’ top brass, said he is filing a resolution in the House ad hoc committee on the BBL to suspend proceedings on the proposed law that seeks to create a bigger autonomous territory for Muslims in Mindanao and which is the key element of a peace agreement between the Aquino administration and MILF.
He said proceedings on the BBL should remain suspended until reports on the Jan. 25 SAF operation that led to the killings of the 44 policemen had been submitted by the PNP, armed forces, MILF and others involved in the investigation into the case.
Biazon is member of the ad hoc committee, which is headed by Cagayan de Oro Rep. Rufus Rodriguez.
“Deadline? No way!” said Biazon, who is also chair of the House committee on defense and national security, in what appeared to be an impromptu press conference in Camp Aguinaldo, the military headquarters.
Also former chief of staff of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, Biazon said the different ongoing investigations of the Mamasapano clash between the SAF and Moro guerrillas belonging to MILF and its supposed breakaway group, Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters, had made it difficult for Congress to pass the BBL on the deadline set by Mr. Aquino.
Biazon said in his resolution, he would ask the ad hoc committee to wait for the completion of the Mamasapano investigation before resuming deliberations on the BBL.
The PNP is currently investigating the killing of the 44 SAF members while the military had just concluded its own inquiry on whether the Army, indeed, failed to provide reinforcement to SAF men who were under attack from Moro guerrillas after killing Marwan.
Biazon said even the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process, the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao and MILF are conducting their own investigations.
The President earlier ordered the Department of Justice to initiate its own investigation while two resolutions have been filed in the Senate calling for the investigation and creation of a Truth Commission that would also investigate the carnage.
Biazon said the House ad hoc committee should wait for the findings of all the investigations.
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