House to resume Mamasapano investigation, BBL hearings PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 20 March 2015 14:01

After a series of meetings of congressmen with Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr., Majority Leader Neptali Gonzales II, and last meeting with Ad Hoc Committee on the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) Chairman Rufus Rodriguez present, it was agreed to resume the House probe on the Mamasapano incident set on April 7 and 8, 2015. The Ad Hoc Committee hearings on the BBL which was originally set on April 6 to 16, with voting on or before April 16, was reset to April 20-30, 2015. However, the votation of Ad Hoc Committee on the BBL is set on May 11 to 12, 2015.

The first meeting with Majority Leader Gonzales was held on March 18, 2015, past 4:00pm, at the Majority Leader’s Conference Room. The said meeting was requested by Minority Leader Ronaldo Zamora, Deputy Minority Leader Carol Lopez, Representatives Celso Lobregat, Neri Colmenares, and Antonio Tinio. Speaker Belmonte later joined the meeting.

In between meetings, it was agreed that the second meeting will be held awaiting Ad Hoc Committee on the BBL Chairman Rodriguez.

The second meeting was held on the same day at the Speaker’s Conference Room after adjournment at past 6:00pm, with Ad Hoc Committee on the BBL Chairman Rodriguez already present. Present in the said meeting were Speaker Belmonte, Majority Leader Gonzales, Ad Hoc Committee Chairman Rodriguez, Deputy Minority Leader Carol Lopez, Representatives Celso Lobregat, Tupay Loong, Romeo Acop, Samuel Pagdilao, Neri Colmenares, Antonio Tinio, and Francisco Ashley Acedillo.

A total of 119 congressmen/women signed the letter addressed to Speaker Belmonte asking to resume the Mamasapano probe. Gathering of signatures for the said letter started on February 23 until March 18, 2015.

On the other hand, a total of 52 members of the Ad Hoc Committee on the BBL signed the letter addressed to Chairman Rodriguez appealing to conduct hearings on the BBL only after the conduct of hearings of the Joint Committee on Public Order and Safety and Special Committee on Peace, Reconciliation and Unity on the Mamasapano incident and not to conduct hearings during the break. Gathering of signatures for the said letter started on March 11 until March 18, 2015.

The final outcome of the BBL will be dependent on the deliberations in the Committee level and will be voted upon on May 11, 2015. Afterwards, the same shall be brought to the plenary for sponsorship, interpellations and amendments before approval. Both Houses of Congress need to concur before the passage of said measure into law. — Jubels C. Santos