Speaker Belmonte summons House leaders over BBL delay | Inquirer News
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Speaker Belmonte summons House leaders over BBL delay

/ 02:22 PM August 18, 2015

Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr. on Tuesday said he was calling House leaders to address the lack of quorum that was stalling the passage of the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL).

In a text message, Belmonte said he would meet with leaders of different political parties on Tuesday to ensure the attendance of lawmakers at the sessions.

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Belmonte called for a meeting two weeks after lawmakers began skipping plenary debates on the BBL that has resulted in a lack of quorum.

While the needed attendance was met Monday night with 185 solons heeding the call, many had left the plenary by 7 p.m. prompting Buhay Representative Lito Atienza to question the quorum.

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Atienza said he only counted 88 representatives on the floor. “The quorum is established by the presence of warm bodies,” he said.

The session was eventually adjourned.

The attendance of at least 146 lawmakers is needed to have a quorum.

Reporters on Monday night chanced upon Muntinlupa Rep. Rodolfo Biazon as he walked to his vehicle. He said, “There is nothing left to do.”

Ifugao Rep. Teddy Baguilat tweeted: “How can we pass BBL by September when we can’t even use the power of an official quorum to move debate? Went home cause I don’t like to watch nothing.”

Cagayan De Oro Rep. Rufus Rodriguez in a radio interview Sunday scolded his colleagues for failing to fulfill their duty to attend plenary sessions for which they are being paid as representatives.

He urged solons to attend sessions so that plenary debate could move forward and the proposed BBL be passed by mid-September, or before the chamber tackles the proposed 2016 national budget.

The proposed BBL seeks to install a Bangsamoro region in Mindanao in the implementation of a government peace deal with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front.

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TAGS: Bangsamoro, BBL, Feliciano Belmonte, House, quorum, speaker
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