Beng tells House: Zambo should never be part of BBL, now or ever PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 22 January 2015 13:35

Mayor Beng Climaco yesterday categorically declared that Zamboanga should never form part nor be included in the Bangsamoro, now or ever, as she reiterated the city’s collective stand on the issue of the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL).

Speaking before members of the Congressional Ad Hoc Committee on the BBL at the House of Representatives, Climaco said she expects Congress to pass a law which is consistent and harmonious with and not contrary to the 1987 constitution and a law that truly addresses grievances that bring about secession and armed conflicts in Southern Philippines and not merely for appeasement. “A law that treats every MIndanaoan on even keel, a law that respects the sovereignty and the territorial integrity of the Republic of the Philippines.

Climaco was one of the provincial, city and municipal governors, mayors and officials invited by the ad hoc committee led by Cong. Rufus Rodriguez as group approaches the last phase of its consultations with stakeholders before presenting recommendations to the plenary.

She reiterated the city’s unwavering stand on the BBL issue declaring “the city should never form part nor be included in the Bangsamoro- now or ever, neither any of its 98 component barangays, nor any part/zone/sitio thereof should ever be included in the Bangsamoro- now or ever.”

The municipal waters of the city as defined under the Philippine Fisheries Code of 1998 shall continue to remain with the city “without alteration on its territorial boundaries for the management, conservation, development, protection, utilization and disposition of all fish and fishery/aquatic resources of its local fisherfolk”.

Likewise she said the commercial fishing industry must have free access to the deep-sea fishing governed only by existing regulations of the national government, not by the Bangsamoro.

Equally important, Climaco stressed is the issue of the ARMM properties in non-ARMM areas such as those located in barangay Cabatangan, this city pursuant to the transitory provisions of the Expanded ARMM law. “It is our firm stand that this provision of the Expanded ARMM Law is mandatory and has to be complied with prior to the enactment of the BBL.”

She pointed out that before the passage of the BBL, ARMM properties located in the city should be ceded and transferred to the national government as mandated under the ARMM law. The city is very willing and able to purchase the same from the national government, she said.

Also present during the Congressional hearing yesterday were Representatives Celso Lobregat of District I and Lilia Nuño of District II who are both members of the adhoc committee. — Sheila Covarrubias