Celso seeks interpellation with Rufus as House tackles BBL for the 2nd week PDF Print E-mail
Monday, 08 June 2015 09:18

By Jubels Santos

Representative Celso L. Lobregat of the City’s First District is scheduled to interpellate Cong. Rufus Rodriguez, principal sponsor of the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law and Ad Hoc Committee chairman during plenary today, Monday, in his intention to ensure that Zamboanga City’s interest will be heard and protected.

Since the start of the BBL deliberations on plenary last week, Lobregat requested that questions directed to the Ad hoc committee chair be answered by Rodriguez. However, the Ad Hoc co-chair, Misamis Oriental Representative Henry Oaminal stood on behalf of the chairman.

Lobregat’s interpellation centered on issues concerning annex on normalization, decommissioning of MILF forces and Public Order and Safety among others.

Lobregat said it is very essential that Rodriguez will give him the chance to interpellate because of the significance of the BBL issue to the constituents of Zamboanga. During the June 3 deliberation, Lobregat failed to get the appropriate answers. There were times when he assisted the Ad Hoc Committee vice chair in providing the answers.

In his deliberation, Lobregat said the annex on normalization was the last annex of the Framework Agreement on the Bangsamoro (FAB) to be signed and that reportedly it was the most difficult because it involved the laying down of arms of the MILF or decommissioning of its forces. Also, he said, it was claimed that the decommissioning is one of the major aspects that differentiate the peace agreement with the MILF and the FPA with the MILF wherein decommissioning was not part of the FPA.

“However, NOT INCLUDED in the draft BBL (HB 4994) and now substituted by the HB 5811 were decommissioning and other major provisions of the Annex on Normalization like the Transitional Components of Normalization, Disbanding of Private Armed Groups, Socio Economic Development Programs, Transitional Justice and Reconciliation, Resource Mobilization and Confidence Building Measures to include the recognition of 5 MILF camps and amnesty pardon and other available processes towards resolution cases charged with or convicted of crimes and offenses connected to armed conflict in Mindanao. Why?”  Lobregat asked.

Lobregat went on to mention a post in the OPAPP website dated September 12, 2014 where peace executives asserted that “decommissioning of MILF forces an executive function and need not be part of the BBL”.

He cited some provisions that were deleted from the proposed BBL/HB 4994 and thus, no longer found in the BLBAR HB 5811 as sections 14 of Article XI on Public Order and Safety talks about National Support Service and section 11 of the same article which talks about coordination.

“Using the logic and reasoning of Sec. Deles and Chair Ferrer – the MILF can say although these are not in the law but these are in the agreement (Normalization annex), so therefore the Philippine government signed this document so they are obligated to see these through, especially so because in the hearing conducted by the Ad Hoc Committee with the PNP, DILG, AFP and DND, the official stand and position of these government bodies was “they fully support the BBL,” Lobregat argued.

Lobregat went on to inquire if the committee tried to delete, reword, amend several provisions of the Article on Public Order and Safety to lessen the fears, make it more acceptable and conform to the Constitution and applicable laws.

Numerous other Lobregat’s queries particularly on the BLBAR HB 5811 Article X section 8 which states “to exercise operational control and supervision and disciplinary powers over the Bangsamoro Police; to employ or deploy the elements of and assign or reassign the Bangsamoro Police through the bangsamoro Police Director; the Bangsamoro Police director shall not countermand the order of the Chief Minister unless it is in violation of the law,” were also not satisfactorily answered.

Lobregat said these and other important issues should be answered by the bill’s main sponsor and Ad Hoc Committee chair, as these are very crucial and requires clarification and even revisions. — Jubels Santos