House Ad Hoc committee suspends hearing on BBL PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 10 February 2015 12:07

The Congressional Ad Hoc Committee on the Bangsamoro Basic Law late yesterday afternoon (February 9) suspended hearings on the proposed law pending submission of the police report as well as the House investigation on the Mamasapano incident.

District 1 Representative Celso Lobregat, who is a member of the Ad Hoc committee, said the Philippine National Police (PNP) has not submitted its report of the investigation on the Mamasapano incident where 44 PNP-Special Action Force (SAF) members were killed by  members of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front and the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) last January 25. Only the Office of the Presidential Assistant for Peace Process (OPAPP), Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) complied with the February 9 timeline set by the ad hoc committee.

On the other hand,  the House Committees on Public Order and Security and Peace and Reconciliation are also set to start its own probe on the Mamasapano incident starting Wednesday, February 10.

“The ad hoc committee decided to wait for the PNP report as well as the House committee on public order report. We will not resume deliberations [on the BBL] until the two committees finish investigation,” Lobregat said, adding that the decision to suspend hearings on the BBL was agreed by consensus of all the  members.

As such, he said, Ad Hoc Committee Chair Cong. Rufus Rodriguez thinks it is unlikely that the ad hoc committee will meet the March deadline [for the submission of the draft to plenary]. No new deadlines were set for the passage of the BBL.

The ad hoc committee has started deliberating on the proposed BBL on a line by line basis last Jan. 26, 27 and 28 and Feb. 2, 3, 4, 5 and 9. Since the first day of the crucial executive sessions, Lobregat has moved for the deferment of the discussions on the BBL in view of recent developments, particularly the Mamasapano incident.

Lobregat aside from being a member of the Ad Hoc Committee is also a member of the House committee on public order and safety which is chaired by Cong. Jeffrey Ferrer. He is also the vice chairman of the House Committee on Peace and Reconciliation. — Jubels Santos