Efforts to railroad BBL evident- Celso PDF Print E-mail
Saturday, 31 January 2015 12:00

The absence of District 1 Representative Celso Lobregat during the maiden session of the City Council in lieu of a crucial executive session on the proposed Bangsamoro Basic law in Congress last Tuesday, January 27, was providential for he was instrumental in preventing the possible railroading of the BBL by colleagues who are advocating for its quick approval.

Lobregat said the Congressional Ad Hoc Committee on the BBL headed by Rep. Rufus Rodriguez during the second day of the executive session Tuesday wanted to do away with the earlier commitment for the members to review and discuss section per section of the proposed BBL on a line by line basis.

The initial decision of the chairman was for members to submit their comments in writing and tackle the same in the committee next week to fast track the approval of the proposal.

Lobregat’s insistence for the committee to keep its commitment made during the 34 public hearings conducted earlier in different cities and provinces as well as in the House sparked heated debates that led to a votation. The voting results at 15 in favor and 15 against, led the chairman to rule that the motion failed to muster the necessary votes, thus, the provisions of the BBL will be discussed section by section and line by line.

With the issue settled, the District I solon also suggested that the executive sessions set Jan 26-28 and Feb. 2-4 will be on extended hours and days.

Lobregat said he was all set to present his state of the city report last Tuesday during the first session of the City Council at Centro Latino.However, when he attended the first executive session Jan. 26 and due to the Guiwan explosion and the massacre of PNP-SAF commandos in Maguindanao Jan. 25, he realized that it was critical for him to be physically present in the meetings to ensure that all the concerns of Zamboanga City will be properly ventilated in the committee.

Lobregat’s report was read by former Councilor Rey Candido after Vice Mayor Cesar Iturralde read before the august body a letter from the solon explaining his absence.

Meanwhile, when asked whether the proposed BBL will be passed, the congressman said it will be approved probably during the first quarter, as Congress has the numbers. “Eventually we will need to pass a BBL that can stand legal scrutiny, hopefully it will not end up like the failed MOA-AD”.

“But if that vote last Tuesday was won by them, where the members will just submit the amendments in writing, they were already trying to railroad and muzzle,” he said.

For as long as the committee gives the members every opportunity to discuss and debate on issues freely, it will be an opportunity to convince the other members on what is right and appropriate, Lobregat added.

“Rest assured till the very end, this Representation would be fighting for Zamboanga City’s interest, standing firm for what is best for Mindanao, defending the Constitution and protecting the Republic”, he continued.

And amidst the heated debates in Congress, the congressman appeals to the constitutents to prudently follow the issues and to pray for the country, the slain policemen, those killed in the Guiwan explosion and for all the members of Congress. — Jubels Santos