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Alvarez doubts BBL consistent with 1987 Constitution

/ 04:51 PM May 30, 2018

House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez doubts that the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) would be the constitutional way to replace the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM).

After emerging from an all-member caucus on Wednesday afternoon, Alvarez was asked about Rep. Edcel Lagman’s statement that the BBL is unconstitutional because it cannot supersede the establishment of ARMM under the 1987 Constitution.

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“As a lawyer I share that doubt. Talaga namang nasa Constitution ang ARMM,” Alvarez said.

But he said Congress should let the Supreme Court (SC) decide on whether BBL is consistent with the Charter or not.

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“Again, parang quo warranto yan. Hayaang ang SC ang magdecide dyan. Hindi kami y’ung magsasabi kung constitutional o hindi. Basta kami gagawin namin itong BBL as a substitute sa ARMM,” he added.

“Now anybody can question ‘yung constitutionality. Again SC pa rin magdedecide kung inconsistent with the Constitution yung pagpalit ng ARMM,” he continued.

Confronted about the mandate of lawmakers to craft constitutionally-sound laws, Alvarez answered: “Yes we are. We believe what we are doing here is constitutional. Pero nobody can stop anyone from filing or questioning the constitutionality of a law.

“Eh wala tayong magagawa we just have to accept that. Kasi sila naman ‘yung final interpreter ng mga laws,” he also said.

The House leader added that this specific issue was not raised with President Rodrigo Duterte.

Despite these doubts, the House of Representatives swiftly and unanimously approved the BBL on third and final reading on Wednesday afternoon, with a vote of 227-11 and two abstentions.  /vvp

READ: House approves BBL on third and final reading

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