BBL timeline moved anew over delay in release of Mamasapano probe report
MANILA, Philippines – The timeline for the House of Representatives to pass the Bangsamoro basic bill (BBL) was rescheduled anew after the police board failed to submit Monday its report on the botched Mamasapano operation that left 44 Special Action Force (SAF) members dead.
In an interview Monday, Cagayan De Oro Representative Rufus Rodriguez, who chairs the ad hoc Bangsamoro committee, said he was disappointed that the Board of Inquiry failed to meet its target of submitting its report Monday.
The Philippine National Police board asked for an extension to finish its report on the operational tragedy meant to take down two terrorists in Maguindanao but ended in the deaths of 44 elite police officers, 18 Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) fighters and five civilians.
The Bangsamoro committee suspended its discussions over the security provisions of the bill pending the police investigation on the Mamasapano incident, which rocked lawmakers’ support on the BBL that would create a more politically autonomous Bangsamoro entity because of the involvement of the MILF in the encounter.
Because of the delay in the police report, the Bangsamoro committee, which had intended to pass the BBL in the committee level by March, would push its target of approval to April, Rodriguez said.
He added that the panel would be meeting during the Holy Week break if only to meet the President’s target of signing into law the bill by end-June.
“I’m quite disappointed that the promise to submit to the House of Representatives the report of the Board of Inquiry (was not made)… It will setback the timetable we have set in the committee,” Rodriguez said.
Rodriguez said had the panel received the report today (Monday), the committee would have met March 16 to 18 to fast track the committee approval of the bill seeking to implement the peace deal with the MILF.
Rodriguez said he would ask Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr.’s nod for the panel to meet during the break or from March 23 to April 2 for the approval of the bill April 8.
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