Rep. Lilia Nuño bares sudden twist in BBL PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 29 May 2015 09:02

Zamboanga City District 2 House Representive Lilia Nuño yesterday expressed dismay as she revealed a new twist in the Lower House deliberation of the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) where all amendments made and approved in the House Ad Hoc Committee level were suddenly changed.

“It’s back to the original draft of the BBL with additional provisions,” said Nuño during a news conference at her residence in Guiwan.

This new development, she said, has even surprised congress members who voted in favor of the BBL in the Ad Hoc Committee level.

Nuño said an added provision in the BBL draft makes it easy for areas outside the Bangsamoro territory to opt and join the expanded autonomous  region, a situation that was provided for under the 1976 Tripoli Agreement.

The House of Representative will deliberate the approved draft in plenary sessions starting Monday next week

The same enhanced BBL version, she said, makes prospects dim for Zamboanga City to acquire the Cabatangan properties.Republic Act 9054 Organic Act for the ARMM

Under Republic Act 9054 or the Organic Act for the ARMM, the Philippine government has the option to purchase all ARMM properties outside its territory like the Cabatangan land and sell it to the LGU like Zamboanga City.

But Nuño fears that the latest Malacanang version of BBLwill make it very difficult for Zamboanga City to get the Cabatangan properties as it states that the Philippine government can buy it with the approval of the Bangsamoro officials.

Top lawyer Vicente Solis, who was present during the press conference, recommended that as early as now the city government should file a Mandamus case with the Supreme Court to compel Malacanang to purchase the Cabatangan land before the final enactment of the BBL.

“Let pray that those congress members who voted in favor of the BBL draft in the ad-hoc committee hearing will change their position during the plenary deliberations,” Nuño said.

With a 50-17 vote and one abstention, the House Ad Hoc Committee on the BBL on May 20 approved the draft and the committee report of the proposed measure following a 13-hour marathon hearing.

The measure is now known as the Basic Law for the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region.

Malacañan allies in the House of Representatives accounted for the majority of the 48 votes favoring the BBL. Eighteen were against while one abstained in what Ad Hoc panel chairman and Cagayan de Oro Rep. Rufus Rodriguez Jr. described as “unprecedented” in the history of the Lower House that saw a piece of legislation undergo at least 50 hearings and participated in by almost a hundred lawmakers.

Despite the approval of the draft, the House minority, meanwhile, said that they would not support the BBL draft that was passed which, according to House Minority Leader Ronnie Zamora, was a BBL version of the administration.

According to Zamora, if the majority is not ready to hear the valid arguments and amendments being put forward by the minority in the House panel, they are also not ready to support the BBL in the plenary, which he said, is clearly a Malacañan version.

Zamora and Bayan Muna Rep. Neri Colmenares said they had heard reports that members of the majority received Malacañan funds to ensure their support for the BBL.

And if this is true, he said, they strongly condemn it.

Rep. Jalosjos added that the problem with some provisions is that the BBL is not giving equal chances to those territories that will be directly under Bangsamoro government. He said if there is an opt-in provision, there should also be a section that allows them to opt out.

Zamora, on the other hand, also warned the House majority not to be too complacent.  He said they had talked to other members of the House majority, particularly those coming from Mindanao, who would not vote in favor of the BBL in plenary.  Zamora wouldn’t release his numbers, though.