Lawmaker : BBL Should Withstand Legal Challenges

Lawmaker : BBL Should Withstand Legal Challenges

April 25, 2015

Senator Chiz Escudero has asked the Senate Committee on Local Government for a thorough review of the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) to ensure that the legislation could withstand any legal challenge once the bill is passed.

“Iyan po ang hiniling ko na kay Senator Marcos, as chairman of the Committee on Local Government, na sana provision by provision ay ma-discuss natin para mapagharap-harap lahat ng stakeholders. Ang problema puro press release ang laban ng OPAPP (Office of the Presidential   Adviser on the Peace Process at GRP (Government of the Republic of the Philippines),” Escudero said.

“I look forward to engaging the advocates of the BBL, including OPPAP, the MILF (Moro Islamic Liberation Front), the Advisory Committee on the issues of constitutionality and unconstitutionality of some of the provisions. I don’t think we should just sit on it and let it drag on,” he added.

According to Escudero, the contentious issues in the BBL must be settled because getting the law passed at its present form is very unlikely.

As chairman of the Senate Committee on Finance, Escudero previously said he wanted a line-item budgeting for Bangsamoro government since it will receive P70 billion for its first fiscal year.

Escudero is pushing to amend separate provisions in the proposed BBL for the creation of constitutional offices like the Civil Service Commission (CSC), the Commission on Elections (Comelec), the Commission on Audit (CoA), the Office of the Ombudsman and the Commission on Human Rights (CHR). These can be consolidated, he said, in a single provision.

Escudero takes the position that the Constitution does not allow the creation of the equivalent of the said agencies.

“The MILF and our own peace panel always say that these are just regional offices. Kung regional office ‘yan, ilagay natin sa provision na regional office yan. Hindi yung ang nakalagay diyan, magkakaroon ng sariling COA, for example, ang Bangsamoro,” Escudero pointed out. “In fact, bakit pa natin kailangan ilagay? Nasa batas na yan. May Regional Office na doon ang CoA, may Regional Office na doon ang Comelec. It’s existing, they have regional directors there. So if it’s there already, why would you then reiterate it?”

He added: “The BBL is not written in stone. Everyone should be open to learning and relearning to ensure that the measure will be compliant with the Constitution. I am confident of convincing the BBL advocates, instead of being convinced, that all of us want peace, but not at all cost and certainly not at the cost of violating the Constitution and dismembering our nation.”

Escudero once again put to task the OPPAP to convince their counterparts in the MILF to understand and accept such amendments and the realities surrounding BBL.
“No one has the monopoly of good intentions and intelligence for Mindanao, not the OPPAP nor the MILF.  It is the job of the OPPAP to get the exact message across their counterparts in the MILF that they will not and cannot get everything they want. And even if they don’t, there should be no reason why we cannot achieve peace that is constitutional, inclusive, legal, fair and just,” Escudero said./OFFICIAL WEBSITE: FACEBOOK PAGE: @saychiz


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