Aquino willing to ‘break protocol’ to sell BBL to senators
ALMOST a week after the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) hurdled the House ad hoc committee, President Benigno Aquino III said that he is willing to meet with senators to iron out constitutional issues hounding the measure.
Aquino said that he would wait for the invitation from Senate President Franklin Drilon if he still needs to have a meeting with senators on the BBL.
“There is a part of me that wants to talk to them (senators). I don’t want to be accused of intruding with their discussions because they are an independent body. All I can say is: if they are willing to invite me to share an opinion in a meeting, why wouldn’t I do that? I am very ready for that,” Aquino said.
The President is confident that the measure will withstand challenges regarding its constitutionality.
“Pero isang mahinahon na diskusyunan at pakikipag-ugnayan, pagsuri nila dito sa BBL e palagay ko makikita nilang it will withstand the test of constitutionality (Through engaging those who challenge the measure in a mild-mannered discussion, I think they will see that the BBL will withstand the test of constitutionality),” Aquino said.
The President hopes that the proposed law will be passed in both houses of Congress before the 2016 elections.
“Iyong bagong mode of governance diyan, huwag naman nating paabutin ng Enero kung kailan sila mag-uumpisa dahil pagdating ng Marso, election ban na, wala na silang magagawa. Tapos sasabihin ng taumbayan, ‘e wala palang silbi ito.’ (Let’s not allow this bill to stall until January because by March, there will be an election ban and they could not do anything about it. Filipinos will then say ‘these lawmakers are inutile’),” the President added.
Days before the BBL was passed in the House committee level, Aquino also sat down with House leaders to discuss the proposed law.
After the two-day meeting, a new “chairman and vice chairmen’s draft” was presented by committee chair Rep. Rufus Rodriguez and became the version of the BBL draft which was deliberated upon and passed by the committee members.
Aquino issued the statement after some senators questioned the constitutionality of the measure.
According to Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago, the passage of the BBL would entail an amendment of the 1987 Constitution.
“The Bangsamoro has much merit, but its promulgation requires constitutional amendment or revision; mere legislation will not suffice, and will spark Supreme Court litigation,” the Senate committee report headed by Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago read.
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