Bong-bong cites Celso on BBL PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 18 August 2015 14:17

Senator Ferdinand “Bong-bong” Marcos Jr. cited District 1 Representative Celso Lobregat for his vast knowledge and cleverness in discussing the provisions of the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL).

In his speech before the Mindanao League of Vice Governors on 15 August 2015 in Cagayan de Oro City, Marcos said Lobregat was the first person to bring to his attention the problematic and or unconstitutional provisions of the proposed law. He mentioned that Lobregat met him in his office on February 2014, right after the signing of the Annex on Normalization.

Both Lobregat and Marcos were the resource speakers during the League’s conference where the BBL perspective for Mindanao was the main subject.

Marcos recalled very well that among the contentious provisions in the BBL discussed by Lobregat with him was the opt-in provision where there is a petition of at least ten percent (10%) of the registered voters and approved by a majority of qualified votes cast in a plebiscite from the contiguous areas outside the core territory. This opt-in provision will provide for the creeping and never ending expansion of the Bangsamoro.

As Senator Marcos presented his views on the BBL, he also agreed with Lobregat on many issues and referred to Lobregat’s presentation several times. He also referred to Lobregat’s video presentation which was taken during one of the hearings of the Ad Hoc Committee, where MinDA Secretary Luwalhati Antonino clearly stated her position on the issue concerning Inland Waters.

In the video, Secretary Antonino said that “she’s concerned about the protocol because protocol is the one that determines how much water is released, and if there are two entities determining the protocol, then we have a problem there.” Further in the video, Antonino said that “she is questioning the issue because in Mindanao they don’t want to have a war over water, as there are histories of fightings over water sources. Antonino fully agrees that Mindanao can pay what is due, first to the Region, the Autonomous Region, to the Province, to the Municipality around Lake Lanao, but if somebody has control over the protocol, then that is not very comforting in Mindanao because that is going to be a challenge.” Marcos agreed with said position.

An open forum/press conference was also held after the BBL presentations during the League’s conference which was organized by the League through the Office of Misamis Oriental Vice Governor Jose Mari “Joey” Pelaez, who is the League’s Vice President for Mindanao, in cooperation with MINDA. The conference tackled important issues and concerns affecting Mindanao.

Meanwhile, Rep. Edgardo Masongsong of 1CARE Party-List, who spoke on Energy issues in Mindanao during the conference also cited Lobregat’s efforts in the House of Representatives concerning the BBL.

Like Masongsong, Lobregat is also one of the principal authors of the proposed bill for the creation of the Mindanao Power Corporation (MinPOW), which seeks the non-privatization of the Agus-Pulangui hydropower complexes, located in Lanao del Sur and Bukidnon provinces.  (Jubels Santos)